Italy's Emanuele Sella returned to racing yesterday at the Coppa Agostoni in Lissone, Italy. It was his first race after last year's Giro d'Italia and serving a one-year doping suspension.
"It was tiring, but beautiful," Sella told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I did it and I finished with the best, just behind the winners."
An escape group of six men decided the race on the fifth of six climbs up the Lissolo. The group with Sella finished 20 seconds behind the winners. Sella, racing for team CarmioOro - A-Style, finished in 20th after 197.2 kilometres.
"Some riders said 'hello', some asked how I was doing, some shook my hand and some turned the other way," said Sella. "My teammates helped me, [Francisco José] Ventoso encouraged and advised me."
The International Cycling Union (UCI) tested Sella July 23, 2008, at his home in Vicenza. The blood control showed him positive for third generation blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA.
Sella, 28, cooperated with prosecutors and the Italian anti-doping tribunal issued him a shorter ban.
Sella won three stages in the 2008 Giro d'Italia – Alpe di Pampeago, Passo Fedaia and Tirano – and the climber's jersey. CarmioOro would need to be Professional Continental, second division, if Sella would have a chance to race the 2010 Giro d'Italia. The team said it might consider moving up from third division for 2010.
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