Cunego eyes key Giro stages

Italian Damiano Cunego previews 2009 Giro d'Italia stages

Italian Damiano Cunego previews 2009 Giro d'Italia stages (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Gregor Brown

Damiano Cunego scouted the Giro d'Italia's key time trial stage in Liguria earlier this month for a second time. The 2004 Giro d'Italia winner wants to be ready for what will be a, "technical" time trial in the middle of a three-week race, May 9 to 31.

"I think he will be on a normal bike because doing it on a time trial bike would be very difficult," Directeur Sportif Brent Copeland told Cyclingnews. "There are probably only about five to ten kilometres that you could do on a time trial bike."

The organisers of the Giro d'Italia revealed the abnormally long time trial (61.7km) as part of its 100th anniversary edition in December. Originally, it was suspected to aid noted time trialist Lance Armstrong, however, the climbs of Passo del Bracco and Passo del Termine will allow riders like Cunego to stay in contention for the race overall.

The Italian first previewed the time stage in May 21 as part of Lampre's training camp.

Copeland is back with Lampre after taking time out to open a bicycle shop in Como, Italy. He is looking after Cunego in key races this year, which will include the GP Insubria and GP Lugano this weekend.

"We are going to go ride Monte Petrano and Vesuvio on Monday and Tuesday. We want to see the climbs, the gradients and the lengths of the climbs.

"Monte Petrano is not a stage that most people go to see, but I think it is going to be a very wicked stage at 237 kilometres and with over 4000 metres of climbing. It is not exactly a climber’s stage, but a stage where you need a team."

On Thursday Cunego will travel with Copeland and teammates Paolo Tiralongo, Marco Marzano and Mauro Santambrogio to the Spanish island of Tenerife. He will remain there for 15 days as he prepares for the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d'Italia.

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