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Di Luca wants Simoni on podium too

Simoni keeps an eye on Di Luca

Simoni keeps an eye on Di Luca (Image credit: Sirotti)

By Jean-François Quénet in Terme di Comano

With 2'24" advantage over Andy Schleck (Team CSC), Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) is only afraid of the rainy conditions expected near the lake of Garda for the final time trial of the Tour of Italy Saturday afternoon. "It's not nice to ride in the rain," the Maglia Rosa commented. "I haven't seen the course yet. I'll do it in the morning, but I know it's a fast course despite two hills. It'll be a high average speed."

Many riders have seen American champion David Zabriskie (Team CSC) taking it easy for the past few days, obviously with the intention of winning in Verona as he did two years ago in Firenze prior to getting the yellow jersey at the Tour de France as a rookie.

Di Luca will not go for one more win but he'll try and maintain enough of a lead to stay comfortably in first overall. "It's not sure that Schleck will finish second in the Giro," he said. "Simoni is going really strong now. He's only four seconds behind Schleck. Cunego isn't far behind either, but Mazzoleni seems to be like their biggest threat for the final podium. They're all close to each other."

After winning up the Zoncolan, Simoni said he'd be very happy to see Di Luca - his former teammate on Team Saeco winning the 2007 Giro d'Italia. Not surprisingly, Di Luca said he'd be happy to have Simoni with him on the podium in Milan on Sunday. "To have near me someone who has been seven times on the podium of the Giro before and won it twice, it would add some value to my win, should I win," the leader stated.

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