Eight of the nine riders on Liberty Seguros-Würth's Giro team did their first training ride on Italian soil on Wednesday. Michele Scarponi, Joseba Beloki, Koldo Gil, Giampaolo Caruso, Javier Ramirez Abeja, René Andrle, Jan Hruska and Nuno Ribeiro took advantage of the sun in the south of Italy to roll along the coast roads for three hours. The ninth member of the team, Dariusz Baranowski, arrived at 6:00pm this evening after travelling from Warsaw.
Tomorrow will be slightly more intense for the boys in blue, since besides training, the riders will have undergo the mandatory medical controls, and at 9:00pm will go to the Arena dello Stretto in Reggio Calabria to take part in the team presentation.
Italian team leader Michele Scarponi has dedicated the first part of the season to be ready for the Giro, and has not raced since Tirreno-Adriatico. "I have the desire to start already," he said after coming to the team hotel with new look short hair.
"There is no-one who knows you, you are going to make Manolo happy," his teammates joked in reference to the team manager, who always has preferred that his riders look like 'classic' cyclists.
Joseba Beloki was also satisfied to have finally arrived at the first important appointment of the year, though his expectations are different. "My aim here is to work for Michele and to be accumulating competition days for the Tour of France. I am well, but still lacking a lot to be really competitive," said Beloki.