In spite of his disappointment at his Acqua & Sapone team’s failure to land a wildcard invitation to the 2012 Giro d’Italia, Stefano Garzelli is to continue with his career and is now focused on landing Tirreno-Adriatico for the second time.
The 38-year-old Italian had initially planned to bring the curtain down on his career at the Giro, and claimed that he was considering immediate retirement when he learned that Acqua & Sapone would not be at this year’s corsa rosa.
“It’s not a mystery, I’d decided to tackle my last Giro d’Italia and I would have done so with the focus and commitment that has always characterised my preparation,” Garzelli said in a statement released by his team. “The news that we weren’t going to be invited to the Giro obviously upset my plans.”
Following consultation with his family, however, Garzelli has opted to carry on, with March’s Tirreno-Adriatico uppermost in his thoughts.
“If I race, it’s because I’m convinced that I can do well, that I can fight and put on a show,” he said. “I certainly won’t go to races just to ride around. These thoughts and my wife’s support will help me to speed up my preparation and aim to do well in races that come up before the Giro, starting with Tirreno-Adriatico.”
Garzelli won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2010 in a reversal of the previous year’s defeat to Michele Scarponi. Garzelli credited riding the Tour Méditerranéen for his fine early-season form two years ago, and he aims to ride the French race again this February.
“When I won Tirreno-Adriatico, I’d ridden the Tour Méditerranéen beforehand so it’s clear that racing gives you a different rhythm,” he said. His Acqua & Sapone squad is also set to request invitations to the Bayern Rundfahrt and the Tour de Suisse, where Garzelli announced his arrival on the world stage with overall victory in 1998.
“It’s a long way away and you need to prepare well for those races, if we decide to go,” Garzelli said. “In the meantime, I want to focus on the races in March and on Tirreno in particular. Then at the end of March we’ll take stock and decide what to do.”
Meanwhile, Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Acqua & Sapone manager Palmiro Masciarelli will meet with Giro director Michele Acquarone in Milan on Thursday, as he seeks an explanation for his team's exclusion from the race.