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Cunego is a man for the Classics, says team manager Saronni

Lampre manager Giuseppe Saronni

Lampre manager Giuseppe Saronni (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni puts his faith in Damiano Cunego for next season's one-day classics.

'The Damiano Cunego who won the Giro d'Italia in 2004 no longer exists," Saronni told Tuttosport. "The Lampre-Farnese staff and I consider him predominantly a rider for the Classics and we are satisfied with this new approach."

Cunego won the 2004 Giro, but in recent years has performed better in one-day races and stages of multi-day races. He won two stages at the Vuelta a España in September: Alto de Aitana and La Pandera. He gave Lampre five of its 16 wins for the season.

"It's true Damiano was not able to win Lombardia for a fourth time, but who can criticise someone who has already won it three times?"

Cunego ended his season at the Giro di Lombardia, October 17, with a 14th place. He attended the presentation of the 2010 Giro d'Italia route the following weekend.

"It is too stressful," Cunego told Cyclingnews of racing for the overall classification. "It is easier to aim for a particular stage, you can show yourself better this way."

He will aim first for the Ardennes Classics in April. He will decide in the coming months if he will race the Giro d'Italia or Tour de France.

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