Danilo Di Luca is intending to ride Tirreno-Adriatico after coming off a three month suspension this winter, despite the Italian National Olympic Committee's (CONI) attempts to get a two-year suspension for the rider. The hearing is set for April 1.
Last year's Giro d'Italia champion is technically free to ride in Tirreno-Adriatico as well as Milano-Sanremo. RCS Sport's director Angelo Zomegnan contacted CONI to evaluate the situation, and Di Luca got a green light to start.
The Italian told Gazzetta dello Sport,"I am content. These are clear facts. For me and for cycling. I met Zomegnan in Milano. I wanted him to hear my situation. I told him that I want to race, that there are no valid legal grounds to leave me out. Then I realized that the organisers are with me. The free road to Tirreno will also be a pass to other important races. It will be important for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège..."
Di Luca finally got some good news after a tough winter, which he admitted he had spent badly. "I was very angry, and in Pescara it was raining the last three days, so I didn't train. These weren't easy days, also for my wife, Valentina ... and my mother Maria, who is suffering with me."
Di Luca said that the riders are "united like never before in the past." For Tirreno he will first see how it goes."I want to work hard at first. But at the tough finish on the Montelupone I will have to be [there]."
On the protest of his fans, which happens today at CONI, he commented by saying that the fact that he can ride in Tirreno "is also good news for my fans. At any rate, the protest should be peaceful."