Fresh from winning the Giro del Trentino, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) has warned that his best form will come at next month’s Giro d’Italia. Scarponi also said that he is unconcerned by the police investigation that saw his room searched at a recent training camp on Mount Etna.
Scarponi beat Tiago Machado (RadioShack) by seven seconds, with Luca Ascani (d'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo) third at 33 seconds.
“Fourth in the Giro di Sardegna, third in Tirreno-Adriatico, second in Catalonia, first in Trentino… Thinking about the Giro, maybe I’ve got my calculations wrong,” Scarponi joked to Gazzetta dello Sport, before insisting that he was not at 100 percent in Trentino: “Here I wasn’t really brilliant, I still wasn’t at my best.”
In spite of his recent run of form, Scarponi did not approach the Giro del Trentino with thoughts of victory, but he did not hesitate to grab the opportunity when it presented itself.
“As we were going along, partly to measure myself and partly to evaluate the others, I took the opportunity,” he said.
In order to top up his form ahead of the Giro, which begins in Turin in two weeks’ time, Scarponi will now head to a training camp at altitude at Val Senales in the Dolomites.
“I’ll be training on the climbs, checking out the roads of the Giro, with Niemiec, Marzano, a masseur and my wife Anna,” Scarponi explained. He will not Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Unsurprisingly, Scarponi identified Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) as the biggest obstacles lying between him and the maglia rosa in Milan at the Giro d'Italia. Nibali eased up on stage three of the Giro del Trentino to avoid gonig too deep ahead of the Giro. Scarponi felt that this was a demonstration of Nibali's newfound awareness rather than a lack of form.
“Where Contador goes, he wins,” Scarponi warned. “As for Nibali: I rate and respect him. And it’s not true that he doesn’t know how to control himself. A year ago, he would have chased me down, this time he preferred not to go into the red. A sign of maturity.”
Scarponi had not raced between Milan-San Remo and the Giro del Trentino, preferring instead to train at altitude on the slopes of Mount Etna. That Sicilian training camp was interrupted by a police search of his room seemingly as part of the Padova doping investigation led by Benedetto Roberti into the activities of Dr Michele Ferrari. However, Scarponi insisted that he was not losing any sleep over the matter.
“With all of the efforts I make in training and races, I go to bed and I fall asleep as soon as I touch the pillow,” he said. “And what’s more, I’m not worried, I'm tranquillo.”