Two time Giro d'Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli is aiming to contest the famed Grand Tour, where he won in 2002 and again in 2005, when he joins his new LPR Professional Continental squad in 2008. The Italian, who announced his move from ProTour squad Astana to the powerful Swiss outfit last week, is hopeful that the team will be offered a wildcard for next year's race.
"My main objective remains the Giro d'Italia," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I am hoping for an invite from the organisers. "As far as the rest of the calendar is concerned, it is too early to make plans."
The 34 year-old enjoyed a successful year at Astana in 2007, despite the squad's troubled season. Savoldelli claimed victory at the Tour de Romandie's Prologue in May before taking another Individual Time Trial win on the Giro's Stage 20 in June. "We will be a small but high-level team," explained Savoldelli. "Leaving the Pro Tour doesn't scare me because by now the big races do not recognize it, and this situation plays in favour of a formation like ours."
Savoldelli also responded to reports in the Italian paper that compatriot Danilo Di Luca will join LPR next season as well. Di Luca, the reigning Giro champion, is currently serving a three month ban for a doping-related offence and is without a contract for 2007. "I would be very happy if he were to arrive," Savoldelli said.