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Gilbert eyes the Giro as a Classics rider

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Lance Armstrong gives the peace sign

Lance Armstrong gives the peace sign (Image credit: AFP)
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Lance Armstrong and Gilberto Simoni

Lance Armstrong and Gilberto Simoni (Image credit: AFP)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

Ivan Basso (Liquigas) (Image credit: AFP)
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The Giro favourites enjoy a little ride in the gondola.

The Giro favourites enjoy a little ride in the gondola. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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"Watch the wake, man! You're harshing my tranquilo!"

"Watch the wake, man! You're harshing my tranquilo!" (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Di Luca asks to keep the waves calm

Danilo Di Luca asks to keep the waves calm (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The crowds were large for a work day.

The crowds were large for a work day. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Danilo Di Luca, Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong

Danilo Di Luca, Ivan Basso and Lance Armstrong (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lance Armstrong enjoys the ride.

Lance Armstrong enjoys the ride. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Giro favourites experience Venice culture.

Giro favourites experience Venice culture. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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What would a trip to Venice be without a gondola ride?

What would a trip to Venice be without a gondola ride? (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Venice provided a stunning backdrop

Venice provided a stunning backdrop (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lance Armstrong walks with Angelo Zomegnan, the Giro organiser.

Lance Armstrong walks with Angelo Zomegnan, the Giro organiser. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Carlos Sastre reaches across Ivan Basso

Carlos Sastre reaches across Ivan Basso (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Astana team strolls to the stage.

The Astana team strolls to the stage. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Team Barloworld.

Team Barloworld. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Team ISD is presented.

Team ISD is presented. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Caisse d'Epargne team

The Caisse d'Epargne team (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Caisse d'Epargne team

The Caisse d'Epargne team (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong was the center of attention

Lance Armstrong was the center of attention (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Filippo Pozzato is interviewed.

Filippo Pozzato is interviewed. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Gianni Savio leads is Diquigiovanni team onto the stage.

Gianni Savio leads is Diquigiovanni team onto the stage. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Denis Menchov leads the Rabobank team.

Denis Menchov leads the Rabobank team. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

Ivan Basso (Liquigas) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Giro favourites take the photo ops.

The Giro favourites take the photo ops. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas)

Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) (Image credit: JF Quenet)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas)

Ivan Basso (Liquigas) (Image credit: JF Quenet)
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Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong (Image credit: JF Quenet)
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Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)

Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) (Image credit: JF Quenet)

Belgian Philippe Gilbert lines up Saturday for the Tour of Italy after coming third at the Tour of Flanders and fourth at the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he is still looking for his first victory under the colours of Silence-Lotto, the team he joined this year from Française des Jeux.

"I've done the Giro before and I particularly like the atmosphere of this event," he said. Gilbert has only finished the Giro d'Italia once. In 2004 he placed 32nd overall while helping teammate Bradley McGee finish in the top 10. In 2006, he was took fifth place on two different stages before dropping out on stage 12. This time, he wants more.

"I would have loved to see more of Venice than just a few minutes coming close to the San Marco square for the team presentation," he said after the show organised for the RAI television. "At least I'll be able to say that I was there. It's special to take part in the centennial of the Giro."

The Belgian has targeted stage 3 and stage 4 during the first week. "My goals are in between those of Mark Cavendish and those of the pure climbers, but it looks like there is a lot of space for riders like me this year." He'll ride these stages the same way he does at the Classics.

He has no intention to pull out before the end since he doesn't know yet about his chances to take part in the Tour de France. "Cadel Evans wants me in," he said.

Gilbert criticised the Australian after the Flèche Wallonne, saying that it was difficult to work for a captain who doesn't know what he wants. Evans initially told his teammates that he didn't feel good but he was better towards the end and came fifth. "We get on really well, Cadel is a very nice guy and he likes when things are said in a straightforward way."

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