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Giro news shorts: Romandie winner Zakarin to race Italian Grand Tour for experience

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Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) in the yellow jersey

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) in the yellow jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alessandro Petacchi (Southeast)

Alessandro Petacchi (Southeast)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Tom Veelers (Giant-Alpecin)

Tom Veelers (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Giant)
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Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) finished third in the time trial and won the overall classification

Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) finished third in the time trial and won the overall classification
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Passo di Mortirolo has previously featured in the Giro d'Italia seven times

The Passo di Mortirolo has previously featured in the Giro d'Italia seven times
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Zakarin heads to the Giro d'Italia to gain experience

Following Ilnur Zakarin's overall victory at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday, Team Katusha director Dmitry Konyshev said that his Russian GC contender will start the Giro d'Italia with the purpose of gaining valuable experience.

"I think for this year we have to be happy with his good result as it met his goal and now he goes to the Giro d'Italia for experience. I think it's very important for him to go to this race and see how he does in a three week race," Konyshev said.

Katusha not only won the overall classification at the Tour de Romandie but Simon Spilak was second overall. They also won the team classification, and the point and mountain classifications with Maxim Belkov. "We're very lucky with the group of riders at this race as they came in prepared and got the results. Many of them will go to the Giro and we will hope for more results from there," Konyshev said.

Knee injury sidelines Veelers from Giro d'Italia start

Tom Veelers will not start the upcoming Giro d'Italia alongside his Giant-Alpecin squad because of a knee injury that needs more time to recover. He will be replaced by fellow Dutchman Tom Stamsnijder, the team announced.

Veelers underwent keyhole surgery at OCON in Hengelo, the Netherlands, four weeks ago to repair a small cartilage imperfection. "I was hoping for a faster recovery so that I would be ready for the Giro d'Italia, but disappointingly we need to postpone my comeback again, after already cancelling my participation in the Tour de Romandie," Veelers said.

"At this moment it is better to fully recover than to return to competition too early, and I am not yet at 100 percent. There are plenty of goals ahead of me this season, so I don't want to force anything now," said Veelers, who is an important part of the team's lead-out train.

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