Saunier Duval's Riccardo Riccò could possibly line up for the Tour de France, July 5 to 27, if all goes well this Sunday at the Italian National Championships. The 24 year-old Italian, winner of two stages in the Giro d'Italia, will test his legs on the Bergamo course before deciding if he will form part of the Spain-based team at the World's largest cycling race.
"I will be at the Italian Championships Sunday, and, if it goes well, I will also do the Tour," confirmed Riccò to La Gazzetta dello Sport. He last rode the Tour de France in 2006 with then team-mate, Gilberto Simoni.
Riccò faced his home Grand Tour hoping to win the overall, but when the Giro d'Italia concluded on June 1 he was one place behind overall winner Alberto Contador. Instead of taking a vacation he competed in post-Giro d'Italia criteriums. "I did not go to Sardegna for vacation like I had planned," he continued. "I remained at home in Modena and at different points along the Adriatico. I rode because for me to go on bike rides is like a vacation. I did 'a Contador,'" he joked, regarding the Spaniard's pre-Giro d'Italia training.
"Then I did about ten days of serious training and the sensations were good. I am not bad physically. Moreover, I have not fattened up one gram because when it is hot I don't have hunger, I have only ice cream and cold drinks."
He is not yet secure of his Tour de France participation. "I will see. If I am competitive at nationals then I will go to France. I want to do the Tour. ... The Giro was good training in itself and I have intensified my training and lengthened the rides. I went and rode San Pellegrino in Alpe on Saturday, but it was not the first long ride, I have already done three in these days..."