Stefano Garzelli will ride for Vini Fantani-Selle Italia for one year, and is aiming for the Giro d'Italia. The Italian had been with Acqua & Sapone for six years, but the team is stopping at the end of this year.
"My dream is, once again, the Giro d'Italia, the race around which I linked my career,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “But we must not forget that we have to be invited the Giro.” His season will not end in May, though. “It will be a full season.”
Garzelli thinks that he can continue to be competitive at the age of 39. "I still I have the determination and willingness to make sacrifices. In addition I want to prove myself after a difficult season for many reasons. I think I can do well." He was greatly disappointed when his team was not given a wild-card to this year's Giro d'Italia, which is said to have led to the team's demise.
He won the Giro in 2000, and was second in 2002, and can look back to ten stage wins and two mountain jerseys, in 2009 and 2011. “We have to be realistic in our ambitions. A stage win for me would be a great success for Fantini. Then maybe a mountain jersey again.”
Nor is the Giro his only ambition this year. “I'd be excited to try Liege, but it will not be easy to get the invitation. Maybe Amstel.” Garzelli finished second behind Paolo Bettini in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2002.
He has been in the pro peloton for 17 years now, having started with Mercatone Uno in 1998. “It's totally different, everything has changed. Now cycling is much more media, more business, more marketing,” Garzelli said. “I don't know if it's better or worse but I preferred biking before, more European.”
Vini Fantani is the new name of the former Farnese Vini-Selle Italia Professional Continental team, under the leadership of Luca Scinto.