Although speculation continues over who will be Lampre-Cafitta's leader at the Giro d'Italia, directtore sportivo Giuseppe Martinelli said to cyclismag.com: "Simoni stays our charismatic leader for the Giro."
"Everybody must know that Simoni is not at the end of his career. He wanted to stay with our team, whereas Cunego is on his ascending slope, and this means that Gilberto has a great serenity and big self confidence. We, the team, still give him a lot of credit. This considered, we decided that Simoni would be the leader on the Giro, and Cunego the leader on the Tour. Gilberto definitely thinks he can get past Cunego on this Giro."
Martinelli added that Cunego's form, considered a little less than the same time last year, is intentionally so: "We chose to privilege training over competition, and the work has just started to pay off. Damiano made the right program of races this year, and has rode more in competition than last year, 23 days compared to 19."
After the Giro, the 23 year-old is not scheduled to race until the Tour de France, apart from the possibility of riding the his national road championship, with the focus on resting first and training later. "Damiano must keep [his] strength for the Tour de France," cautioned Martinelli. "He comes to the Tour to learn, and with Armstrong [as a competitor] he will have a good teacher... "