By Gregor Brown in Lagnasco, Italy
Team Columbia's experienced Italian Marco Pinotti considers his 2008 season to have been fruitful after collecting three wins.
The 32 year-old from Bergamo, known for his time trialling skills, told Cyclingnews before the start of Thursday's Giro del Piemonte, "The season was a success. The only two points is that I missed the Olympics and I was hoping for a better result at the World Championships."
Pinotti was one of eight riders representing the American team at the race in Italy's Piemonte region, won by Daniele Bennati of Team Liquigas.
Pinotti's year started in his home country at the Trofeo Laigueglia, but it was two months later when his form hit his target. He placed third overall in the Tour de Romandie before linking up for his national Tour, the Giro d'Italia. He selflessly worked in the sprints for Mark Cavendish his own chance came on the final day.
He won the Milano time trial stage ahead of teammate Tony Martin. Three weeks later, he won the Italian national time trial championships for a third time. His first overall race win, the Tour of Ireland, capped off the end of the season.
"I am satisfied with my performance and there are no regrets," he confirmed.
He's looking ahead to this weekend. "I hope to finish with a good race in Lombardia, and also in the Chrono des Nations in France, on Sunday. ... In Lombardia I will see how I am [feeling] after Ghisallo to decide if I will go to the end at full gas or think about the day after." The Giro di Lombardia is the last Classic of the year and Pinotti grew up watching the race that takes place in his home region on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, he will represent Team Columbia in France for the invitation only time trial event.