Pozzato Pronto: Filippo for Le Tour

'Pippo' and the Liquigas team

'Pippo' and the Liquigas team (Image credit: Sirotti)

By Tim Maloney, European Editor in London

Liquigas star Filippo Pozzato is ready to rock at this year's Tour de France. The talented 25 year-old from Sandrigo, Italy started 2007 with a bang courtesy of his win in Het Volk on March 1, but then he had a disappointing spring campaign due to sickness. Cyclingnews spoke to the classy Classics man in London after he had his medical check at the race headquarters in ExCel Centre.

"I'm feeling good right now and I've prepared really well for the Tour," a smiling Pippo explained. "[Liquigas] has a strong squad of mostly one day riders at the Tour and I really want to do something special... like another Tour stage win."

Pozzato was looking for a possible Maglia Tricolore at the recent Italian championships in Genoa, but he didn't succeed. "I kind of threw the race away that day," grimaced Pozzato. "Liquigas had a big team but we didn't ride well that day."

Pozzato is rider member of the Association of Italian professional riders (ACCPI) and had been outspoken about the current toxic climate in the sport. We asked him if he signed the obligatory UCI riders' health declaration to ride the Tour de France and the lean Italian smiled sardonically as he said "yes I signed it but only because I had to. I don't think that this kind of thing is a way to solve the problem in cycling. Something like this should have been done much sooner, like when we have our team meetings in December. There are so many controls already, which are no problem, but to have this agreement forced on us at the last moment is just wrong."

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