By Gregor Brown
Damiano Cunego will preview the Giro d'Italia's key time trial stage in Liguria, Italy, in the coming days. The 2004 winner of the Italian stage race is currently training in Tuscany with teammates as he aims to escape the bad weather at home in Verona.
"We are here until Tuesday, doing motor-pacing and distance riding. We will go and see the time trial course in Liguria as well," Directeur Sportif, Brent Copeland said to Cyclingnews.
The 12th stage of the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, is expected to help decide the race overall. The 61.7-kilometre long time trial will suit race favourites Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong.
South African Copeland is back with Lampre after taking time out to open a bicycle shop in Como, Italy. He will look after Cunego in key races this year, which will include the Giro d'Italia, and possibly the Tour de France.
Cunego has not fully committed on which three-week event he will race this year. Last year, he raced the Tour de France as part of a successful season that included wins in the Amstel Gold andGiro di Lombardia.
"We did a ride of 160 kilometres today [Thursday - ed.]. It was a good five and a half hour ride," said Copeland.
"It is like heaven for them to get on their bikes down here for five hours. In the day it is 12 to 13°C, whereas it is -2° in Milano."
Copeland confirmed Cunego will open his season at the GP Etruschi, February 7, in Italy. Cunego will race the Volta ao Algarve, February 18 to 22, as his second race.