Pellizotti to lead Liquigas' Giro d'Italia team?

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) in the mountain leader's jersey at the 2009 Tour de France

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) in the mountain leader's jersey at the 2009 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Has Liquigas already selected Franco Pellizotti as its leader for the 2010 Giro d'Italia? Team Manager Roberto Amadio attended the route's presentation in Milano Saturday and determined it suits Pellizotti.

"It's a Giro for Franco," Amadio told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It's right that Pellizotti starts as leader at the Giro and at the Tour he will be available to help whoever rides for the classification."

The Giro d'Italia, May 8 to 30, ends with mountain stages in the Dolomites and Alps. Organiser RCS Sport will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week.

Pellizotti won the Plan de Corones stage in 2008 and this year finished third overall. After the Giro, he decided to race the Tour de France, where he won the mountain classification's polka dot jersey.

"At the Tour we saw teams with two or there leaders. I am referring to Astana, who really dominated," continued Amadio. "Besides at the 2010 Giro there will be a team time trial that I consider important for gaining time on our rivals. So we will have to take the strongest team possible."

Amadio has three other riders who could possibility lead and win the Giro or Tour: Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger. Basso won the Giro in 2006 and finished twice in the Tour's top three. This season, he rode as co-captain at the Giro with Pellizotti and finished fifth.

"It will be a hard Giro, very difficult in the second part," said Basso. "I think I can race two Grand Tours as a rival and end up with an important result."

Nibali, 24, and Kreuziger, 23, are both Liquigas' young talents. Nibali aimed for the Tour this year and finished seventh. Kreuziger won the 2008 Tour de Suisse and finished ninth at the Tour this year.

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