Pellizotti wants sole Giro d'Italia leadership

Tour's mountain man hopes for 2010 Giro win

Franco Pellizotti hopes to start the 2010 Giro d'Italia as sole leader with the support of Liquigas teammate and past winner, Ivan Basso. A third place in this year's edition and the mountains classification win Sunday in the Tour de France boosted his confidence.

"I would like to start as the sole captain to see if I can win the maglia rosa," Pellizotti told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I would pay back the favour to Basso at the Tour. Maybe it would be worse off, but I want to have the possibility to play all my cards and not have regrets."

Italians Pellizotti and Basso started this year's Giro d'Italia as co-leaders for Liquigas. They helped each other until the final stages, when Basso gave his full support for Pellizotti. Basso finished fifth overall.

"Can I win a Grand Tour? I already felt ready to do it this year. After all I've done, I think I have good reason."

Pellizotti started the Tour de France, July 4 to 26, one month after the Giro d'Italia ended. He came close to winning three different stages and gained enough points over on the climbs to win the polka dot jersey of best climber.

He attributes this year's performances to motivator, Andrea Mazzola. Mazzola's other clients include football player Beppe Signori and motorcyclist Mattia Pasini.

"It not only increases confidence, but develops the belief that you can give more even when you thought you already gave your maximum."

Pellizotti last rode both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in the same year in 2003, his third professional year. He has won three stages in the Giro and last year, finished fourth overall.

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