Garzelli goes for Giro glory once more

Italian to aim high ten years after Giro win, hints at final participation

Stefano Garzelli is looking forward to the 2010 Giro d'Italia, ten years after he won the race. Next year may well be the last time he rides the Giro, and the 36-year-old Italian says he wants to go out with a bang.

“I have just started my preparations for 2010, thinking only of the Giro d'Italia,” he told the Italian news agency ansa. “It will be tough, but ten years after my victory in the race, I want to do well in what could be my last participation.”

Garzelli turned pro with Mercatone Uno, as a domestique for Marco Pantani. When Pantani faltered at the start of the 2000 Giro, Garzelli took over as captain and won a tight three-way race against Gilberto Simoni and Francesco Casagrande. He finished third in the time trial in the penultimate stage to take the lead, which he held on to.

He then transferred to Mapei-Quick Step, where during the 2002 Giro he tested positive for a diuretic. A two-year suspension was subsequently shortened by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to nine months. Garzelli then rode for Vini Caldirola and Liquigas before joining Acqua & Sapone in 2007.

This year, Garzelli place second overall in Tirreno-Adriatico and seventh in the Giro. He also won the best climber's jersey at the Giro.

The last week of the 2010 jersey is a very difficult one, “punctuated by an incredible series of climbs,” he noted. “However, I still want to do the hard work and meet my goals.”

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