By Gregor Brown in Civitanova Marche
Italian Enrico Gasparotto will give it full gas for today's Tirreno-Adriatico stage to Castelfidardo. The Barloworld rider, who held the overall lead following stage two and threatened to take it back in yesterday's time trial, will risk his second place overall to Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) for a chance at winning 196-kilometre stage.
"I am on good form, I am happy about that," he noted Monday morning to Cyclingnews, while wearing the maglia ciclamino of points leader. "I have been thinking about Tirreno-Adriatico since this winter. Last year, I had really good form, but I had to work for my team-mates. This year, I can do my own race by trying to win some stages and the overall."
The stage today features four finishing circuits of 14.7 kilometres, each one ending with the four-kilometre rise to Castelfidardo. "It is a hard day; It is one of the hardest," he continued of the climb that averages a 4.5 percent gradient. "I will give up my second overall in the general classification to concentrate on winning this stage."
Team Barloworld is backing the rider 100 percent in his quest. "If an escape goes we will judge it. If the team can close it, then we will, and I will try my chances in Castelfidardo."