The 2007 team of Palmiro Masciarelli, Acqua & Sapone, has been confirmed with 18 riders, three of which are his sons. After Andrea and Simone, Francesco Masciarelli joined the professional ranks this last fall, riding along side his two brothers. All three Pescara boys will be under the guidance of their dad, Palmiro, famous gregario of Francesco Moser.
The Italian pro-continental team is a strong force, winning 13 races in 2006, and for 2007 they have even higher hopes after adding Italian Stefano Garzelli and Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke. The latter, has in fact been quasi-adopted by the Masciarelli family; Vandenbroucke has been living in their home in Abruzzo for the last month.
"He was here and lived in a hotel. He would eat with us and after he never wanted to leave," said Palmiro to La Gazzetta dello Sport regarding Vandenbroucke, who normally resides in northern Italy, near Milano. "The house is large; Simone and Francesco are married... Frank fixed himself here with the family.
"It is the best way to know a person, to see their personality. ... Frank is calm, relaxed. They said he was an alcoholic but he never drinks over a glass of wine with dinner. Liquor? He never wants."
Palmiro described his three sons, Simone, 26 years-old, Andrea, 24, and Francesco, 20. Simone is "a fast, all-around rider; a rider for the classics," continued Palmiro to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "You know who is his idol was? Vandenbroucke." Andrea? "He is the hardest of the family; he will never complain. He is also the most irritable. He is a climber who needs hot temperatures." Francesco? "20 year-old but already married. He is strong in the climbs but also pretty fast. I see him adapted for stage races."
The team will meet for its next camp January 10 to 20 in Cecina (Toscana). Their first race of the season will be GP Etruschi, with Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo being the "first big objectives. The participation in the Giro is the big dream and the big hope," concluded Palmiro.
Francesco Di Paolo