Giro news shorts: Romandie winner Zakarin to race Italian Grand Tour for experience

Petacchi to lead Southeast Pro Cycling in Italy, knee injury sidelines Veelers from Giro start

Zakarin heads to the Giro d'Italia to gain experience

Following Ilnur Zakarin's overall victory at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday, Team Katusha director Dmitry Konyshev said that his Russian GC contender will start the Giro d'Italia with the purpose of gaining valuable experience.

"I think for this year we have to be happy with his good result as it met his goal and now he goes to the Giro d'Italia for experience. I think it's very important for him to go to this race and see how he does in a three week race," Konyshev said.

Katusha not only won the overall classification at the Tour de Romandie but Simon Spilak was second overall. They also won the team classification, and the point and mountain classifications with Maxim Belkov. "We're very lucky with the group of riders at this race as they came in prepared and got the results. Many of them will go to the Giro and we will hope for more results from there," Konyshev said.

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) wins the overall at Tour de Romandie

Petacchi to lead Southeast Pro Cycling at the Giro d'Italia

Southeast Pro Cycling confirmed on Monday their nine-man team that will participate in this year's Giro d'Italia, which starts on May 9 with a team time trial in San Lorenzo al Mare. Among the men is Alessandro Petacchi, who will use his vast experience to lead the Pro Continental squad at the Italian Grand Tour. The Italian has raced 13 editions of the Giro and has won 22 stages.

"We selected our best riders," said team DS Serge Parsani. "Simone Ponzi has got some physical problem. It will be the first Giro for two young riders, the others are experienced riders. We will decide day by day, we haven't a man for the general classification, but these riders are able to be protagonists. And we hope Alessandro Petacchi can win a stage during his last Giro."

Southeast's team will also include Yonathan Monsalve, Matteo Busato, Ramon Carretero, Elia Favilla, Mauro Finetto, Manuel Belletti, Eugert Zhupa and Francesco Gavazzi.

Alessandro Petacchi (Southeast)

Knee injury sidelines Veelers from Giro d'Italia start

Tom Veelers will not start the upcoming Giro d'Italia alongside his Giant-Alpecin squad because of a knee injury that needs more time to recover. He will be replaced by fellow Dutchman Tom Stamsnijder, the team announced.

Veelers underwent keyhole surgery at OCON in Hengelo, the Netherlands, four weeks ago to repair a small cartilage imperfection. "I was hoping for a faster recovery so that I would be ready for the Giro d'Italia, but disappointingly we need to postpone my comeback again, after already cancelling my participation in the Tour de Romandie," Veelers said.

"At this moment it is better to fully recover than to return to competition too early, and I am not yet at 100 percent. There are plenty of goals ahead of me this season, so I don't want to force anything now," said Veelers, who is an important part of the team's lead-out train.

Tom Veelers (Giant-Alpecin)

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