Scarponi to defend title, Cunego for stage wins
Lampre-ISD has announced their 2012 Giro d’Italia team today, with Michele Scarponi and Damiano Cunego both set to start the race in Denmark on May 5.
Alessandro Petacchi will not race the Giro for just the third time since 2002 as he builds up for the Tour de France.
Michele Scarponi will lead the team in the fight for the overall classification. The 32-year-old was crowned the 2011 winner of the Giro after Alberto Contador (Saxobank) was stripped of the title following a suspension for doping.
Perhaps the most interesting inclusion is that of Cunego. The 2004 Giro d’Italia winner cracked the top ten at the Tour last year but will not be riding for the GC at the Giro, with the team giving him a pass to ride his own race and attempt to pick up stage wins.
“Giro d’Italia will be a highlight of the team season,” general manager Saronni said.
“The race for pink is a top target for Michele Scarponi: the team supported him in his choice of accept the challenge of the Giro and it will sustain Michele with full trust during the whole three weeks of race in order to try to battle for the overall standing.
“Cunego’s presence will be very remarkable because Damiano will be important on the tactical side. This won’t preclude him to be free to act in some appropriate situations. All the other blue-fuchsia cyclists were chosen for the guarantees of quality they’ll assure.”
Lampre-ISD for the 2012 Giro d’Italia: Matteo Bono, Damiano Cunego, Adriano Malori, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Daniele Pietropolli, Daniele Righi, Michele Scarponi, Alessandro Spezialetti, Diego Ulissi.
Technical staff: Roberto Damiani, Orlando Maini and Maurizio Piovani.