Italian veteran revels in mountains jersey
Stefano Garzelli won the Giro d'Italia in 2000 but eleven years later he proved he is still competitive against riders far younger by winning the green climber's jersey for a second consecutive year.
Despite being close to his 38th birthday, Garzelli is ready to race on through 2012 and confirmed he will stay with the Acqua & Sapone team.
"My motto is that if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well. I think I did everything right to peak for the Giro d'Italia and I intend to do the same thing all over again next year. I've got a contract with Acqua & Sapone and I'm happy to be with them and help young riders like Carlos Betancourt, who finished fourth in Sestriere."
Garzelli secured his mountains jersey by targeting the long stage from Conegliano to Gardeccia that included five major climbs and a huge haul of climber's points. On that stage he added to points garnered earlier, bringing his points total past 60. Even Alberto Contador's dominance in the mountain could not stop Garzelli pulling on the final green jersey in Milan.
He finished with a total of 67 points with Contador second with 58 and Jose Rujano (Androni Giocattoli) third with 43 points.
"It's hugely satisfying to win the green jersey. I knew I couldn't compete for the maglia rosa this year, the course was just too tough for me, so I targeted stage victories and the mountains classification," Garzelli explained.
"I didn't win a stage but I went close on the day to Gardeccia, when I was on the attack all day and then finished second. I was gutted not to win but I was proud of how I rode on such a big mountain stage. I actually think the maglia verde is more prestigious than a stage victory because it puts my name in the history books of the Giro yet again. And having won it in this very hard Giro is even more satisfying."