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Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) a top a Grand Tour podium for the first time in his career.
Italian hopes for a French stage win
Italian Franco Pellizotti hopes for a stage win at the Tour de France, July 4 to 27, just one month after he finished third overall in the Giro d'Italia. He insists there will be cooperation with his teammates and Liquigas’ "captains", Roman Kreuziger and Vincenzo Nibali.
"I will see how I go in the three weeks. Like the Giro, everyone said [Ivan] Basso was the captain, but instead it worked the other way around. The team will work for Nibali and Kreuziger, for sure, but the road will decide the rest," he told Cyclingnews.
Pellizotti started the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, as co-captain with Basso. He moved up in the classification over the three weeks. In the final week, he won the mountain stage to Blockhaus, moving from fourth to third overall.
He finished the Giro d'Italia third at 1:59 behind Denis Menchov. Basso finished fifth at 3:59.
Pellizotti said he will be unable to win the Tour de France, in spite of his strong ride at the Giro. "There will be some really strong riders, even if I was able to beat some of them at the Giro. The Tour is another race, and it is very difficult. If I finish in the top five then that would be a success this year."
Besides a top-five finish, Pellizotti will aim for a stage win. In the next days, from a training camp in Livigno, Italy, he will look at the profiles of Tour de Frances stages on the internet.
"Any stage at the Tour de France is important. Mont Ventoux it is very particular, but I would have to wait until the end the Tour."
The last time he attempted to ride the Tour de France in the same year as the Giro d'Italia was in 2003, his third professional year. He said that in the six years since then he has gained valuable experience.
"We decided to do this programme, the Giro and the Tour, over the winter. With this in mind, I had a minimal race schedule at the beginning of the season. There is a month to recover and prepare, but a month is not a lot after the Giro, even if I did not race a lot at the beginning of the year."
Pellizotti will remain in Livigno at 1816 metres with Nibali and Alessandro Vanotti for the next week. He will then take part in the Italian national championships on June 28, his only race prior to the Tour de France.