The Acqua e Sapone team held its official presentation in L’Aquila on Sunday, the central Italian town devastated by a major earthquake in the spring on 2009.
Acqua e Sapone is the only team based in the Abruzzo region and will have a special ‘Forza L’Aquila’ logo on the 2010 jersey in support of an association formed by well-known athletes from the region, including Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli. The non-profit 'Forza l'Aquila' association aims to raise enough funds to build a new sports complex in the much damaged city.
The Acqua e Sapone team is again a Professional Continental team in 2010 and is hoping for a ride in the Giro d’Italia. Stage 11 of this year’s Giro d’Italia will finish in L’Aquila on May 19.
The team line-up is largely unchanged with veteran Stefano Garzelli the stage race leader and Luca Paolini the protected rider for the sprints and one-day races.
Garzelli was second in last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico and was seventh overall in the Giro, while Paolini was part of the Italian team at the world championships.
New riders for 2010 include Rafaâ Chtioui from Tunisia, who was second in the 2004 junior world road race championships, Reiner Honig, who arrives from Vacansoleil, and former Liquigas domestique Vladimir Miholjevic. Perhaps the most pormising rider is Colombia’s Cayetano Sarmiento. He won the amateur Giro d’Italia stage race in 2009 and directeur sportif Franco Gini is convinced he has discovered the next great Colombian climber.
The team also includes Andrea, Francesco and Simone Masciarelli, who are all sons of team manager and former professional Palmiro Masciarelli. Francesco is a talented climber and finished 17th overall in the 2009 Giro d’Italia. He could win a stage and challenge for the climber’s jersey in this year’s race if the team is invited.
Acqua e Sapone 2010 line-up:
Francesco Di Paolo
Jose Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa