Retired cyclist Giovanni Lombardi will become a director sportif for Argentina. After a recent trip to Argentina for the Vuelta a San Luis, a deal was finalized between the 37 year-old Italian and President of the Argentinean Federation Gabriel Curuchet. Lombardi will direct the track team for the points, Madison and scratch races.
Lombardi, who owns a home in home Argentina and bases himself in Madrid, has the experience for the role. As an amateur he conquered gold at the Olympics on the track and then, in his 14 years as a professional, he racked up many wins, including four stages at the Giro d'Italia and eight victories in Six Day racing.
"It will be great to go to the worlds in Palma di Majorca, from March 29 to April 1. From here on, we will go hard for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing," explained Lombardi, who also acts as an agent for such cyclists such as Ivan Basso and Fränk Schleck, to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It is a prestigious role and I am very grateful for this proposition. I hope to make an important contribution to a country that has a strong tradition on the track and that has, in general, a great passion for cycling.
"For me it is a new experience but I am approaching it with grand enthusiasm. And it will not impede my activities acting as an agent."
Curuchet backed up his new hire; he added, "Giovanni has extraordinary palmarès, huge experience in all disciplines of cycling and an unequivocal charisma... Now we have built the base with which to deliver the best results - it was important to make an investment like this because the Olympics will be in one and a half years."