Paolo Bettini has included three Giro d’Italia stage winners in the Italian line-up for the London 2012 Olympic test event on August 14.
Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) have all been rewarded for their summer form with selection for the London-Surrey Cycle Classic.
Gatto took victory in the Trofeo Matteotti on Sunday to add to his clever win at Tropea in the Giro, while Ulissi followed his own Giro victory with an impressive win at the Tour of Slovenia.
“It’s without doubt a team that is looking to the future,” said Bettini, who also included young sprinter and Brixia Tour stage winner Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) in the line-up, along with veteran Luca Paolini (Katusha).
Paolini has been Bettini’s regista, or road captain, since he took charge of the Italian set-up, and he was fulsome in his praise of his former Mapei and Quick Step teammate. “He experienced the Olympic adventure in Athens and the success we captured there, so he is well capable of understanding the workings of an Olympic race,” Bettini said, explaining Paolini’s selection in the otherwise youthful line-up.
The five riders who will compete in London all took part in the Italian national squad training camp in Sicily in June.
“For the athletes themselves it is a sign of the continuity of the project,” Bettini noted. “It’s an even bigger motivation for them.”
Italian team for London-Surrey Cycle Classic, August 14:
Eros Capecchi (Liquigas-Cannondale), Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD), Sacha Modolo (Colnago CSF-Inox) and Luca Paolini (Katusha).
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