Pellizotti points to Tour podium

Franco Pellizotti has targeted a podium finish at the Tour de France after his third place overall in the Giro d'Italia last month. Team Liquigas' Italian will co-captain a team with Roman Kreuziger and Vincenzo Nibali.

"I won on Blockhaus, I am ready to be a player and the [Giro] podium finish is comparable for the Tour, because the maillot jaune Carlos Sastre came to win," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Pellizotti finished the Giro d'Italia in third overall, 1:59 behind Denis Menchov and 1:18 behind Danilo Di Luca. Last year's Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre, finished in fourth at 1:47 behind Pellizotti.

"I think that I have reached the physical and mental level to aim for a Grand Tour victory. After fourth in 2008, it was not easy to confirm it, above all in a Giro with the level so high. There's a big difference between third and overall victory because you race with the pressure of having to win, but I am ready to try."

Pellizotti competed in the three-week Giro d'Italia stage race as co-captain with Ivan Basso, winner in 2006. Basso finished the race in fifth overall.

"I truly would like to start a Grand Tour as the absolute captain of a big team, to see if it is possible to fight to win the maglia rosa. Basso could give me a hand in the Giro and I could help him out at the Tour, where he would be the leader."

Pellizotti has a contract with Liquigas through the end of 2010.

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