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Worlds: Garzelli ready for Ballerini's call

By:
Gregor Brown
Published:
September 02, 2009, 12:30 BST,
Updated:
September 02, 2009, 12:46 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Race:
UCI Road World Championships, Men's Elite Road Race
Stefano Garzelli (Acqua

Stefano Garzelli (Acqua

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Italy's Stefano Garzelli wants invite from Ballerini to race Worlds on home course

Italy's Stefano Garzelli wants to race with the national team at the World Championships on September 27. The course for this year's road race is just outside his front door in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

National director Franco Ballerini has led the team to wins in the last three editions. He is currently following a series of lead-up races to help make his decision on 2009's nine-man team.

"I think I've done enough in the last races, fighting for the win," Garzelli (Acqua e Sapone) told Cyclingnews. "It is always difficult to win nowadays."

Garzelli won the mountain classification's maglia verde at the Giro d'Italia in May. Preparing for the Worlds, he finished second in Trofeo Melinda and 14th in Giro del Veneto in the last week.

Ballerini will select his nine-man team (and two reserves) on September 14. He will likely lead the team with 2008 winner Alessandro Ballan and silver medallist Damiano Cunego. Giro del Veneto winner Filippo Pozzato, Ivan Basso and Garzelli are probable secondary captains.

"Ballerini will have to decide my role depending on what type of team he wants to form. I think he could use me in the last kilometres to do anything," said Garzelli. "I am ready to have a great race, and do my work."

This year's course in Mendrisio, Switzerland, will be harder than last year's 17.35-kilometre circuit in Varese, Italy. The circuit has two climbs, Acqua Fresca and Novazzano, in a short 13.8-kilometre circuit repeated 19 times.

Garzelli lives half the year in Valencia, Spain, and half the year in Mendrisio's city centre. To preview the course it is enough that he opens his window.

"It seems harder with respect to Varese," he said. "It is technical, 19 laps, up and down, right and left, there will be no time to breathe. Certainly, a lot of riders will lose their legs after 200 kilometres."

Garzelli's first and only time to race the Worlds was in Verona, Italy in 2004. He worked to help team Italy place Luca Paolini third and Cunego ninth.

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