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Simoni: "Cunego and I do not have problems"

Lampre-Caffita rider Gilberto Simoni has restated that no bad blood exists between he and his team-mate Damiano Cunego, speaking in particular about this year's Giro d'Italia, which begins in just over a month's time on May 7, 2005.

Currently lying 13th overall at the Setmana-Catalana stage race in Spain, Simoni said that to take the overall honours will be complicated: "We will go day to day, seeing what possibilities there are to obtain a victory, but is clear that to take the general [classification] will be complicated," he said. "In fact, it is more preparation for Giro, without being dismissive of a five-day race like this one."

The 2001 and 2003 Giro winner admitted all races leading up the first of the year's Grand Tours are simply preparation, and although delighted with his recent win atop Mont-Faron in Paris-Nice, as the first Saturday in May approaches, "logically, I will dedicate all my attention towards it."

"Cunego and I do not have problems, either for one reason or another," responded Simoni when asked who would lead his team to defend last year's title. "The real problem will be for our adversaries."

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