By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Strasbourg
Damiano Cunego will start his rookie Tour De France on Saturday in Strasbourg and the young Lampre-Fondital rider is positive and focused about his first Tour experience. "I just came back from a training camp at altitude with my teammate Paolo Tiralongo", explained Cunego. "Then I refined my preparation at home last week and I feel fit and rested after that. I want to ride my first Tour without any pressure and just learn from the entire experience."
After a bad training crash, where he dislocated his shoulder, the Tour De France of Cunego's Lampre-Fondital teammate Salvatore "Toto" Commesso was in doubt, but the cannonballesque Neapolitan rider got his doctor's green light earlier this week to ride his sixth Tour. "I rode the rollers a few times, then went out for a ride last weekend in the really hot weather, and did five good hours. I felt good and my shoulder didn't hurt that much," he said.
Already the winner of two previous Tour stages, Commesso has his sights set on another in 2006, especially stages 13 or 14. "I'm just dreaming of another stage win at the Tour", sighed Toto.