Two-time Giro d'Italia champion Gilberto Simoni is ready for a challenging 2009 Giro d'Italia full of dangerous rivals. The 37 year-old Italian from Veneto sized up his rivals, including Lance Armstrong, during a visit to the EICMA bicycle trade show in Milano.
"Armstrong is a talent. He will go strong at the Giro. But this is a difficult course that he does not know. We will do everything to turn the screws," said Team Diquigiovanni's Simoni to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
USA's Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, revealed he would race the Giro d'Italia in October as part of his comeback. The 37 year-old announced his return to cycling in September. The presence of him and past winners Danilo Di Luca, Ivan Basso and Damiano Cunego will make it difficult for Simoni to win his third title.
Regarding Basso, Simoni said, "I don't even consider him." He considers a second Grand Tour out of Cunego's reach. "He is more of a rider for the Classics."
It will be the last season for Simoni, who is also targeting the Marathon mountain bike world championships.