Pink Pellizotti gives it a go

Giro d'Italia race leader Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)

Giro d'Italia race leader Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Leader of the 91st Giro d'Italia, Italian Franco Pellizotti, is looking strong in the pink colours of the maglia rosa and aims for a stage win in today's 203-kilometre run to Contursi. Not only is the 30 year-old Team Liquigas rider from Bibione aiming for a stage win while in the leader's jersey, he also wants to take overall victory in the Italian Grand Tour.

It is easy to notice the curly haired Franco Pellizotti in the gruppo as Giro d'Italia runs in its first week: "It is the colour of the jersey, it stands out in the gruppo," he commented to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

With 2006 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso joining the Italian team at the end of the year Pellizotti, eighth overall in 2006, knows that he has to make his impression felt in this race's edition.

"This is my year and I intend to take advantage," Pellizotti stated. "Ivan is a great racer, but if I have a good Giro it will be he who has to show that he can return to the Giro as a captain."

The first step for Pellizotti is stage five to Contursi, which ends with a three-kilometre ascent. "The stage is similar to Agrigento, Riccò and Di Luca will try, they are close to taking the jersey. We will also see Bettini and Rebellin." He has no intentions of trying to keep the pink top through the entire Giro d'Italia. "No, in reality I want to save myself for the last week," he continued.

He is not only pointing to the podium, but its top step, confirming that he has given all of himself for the 2008 Giro d'Italia title. "The podium would be a good result, but this time I am racing to win. I see in my team-mates' eyes that they believe in me. ... One year ago I arrived with good form, but [former team-mate] Di Luca was going well and deserved the support. This time I am able to think big."

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