Video: New Giro d'Italia director promises to respect riders

Lars Krarup, Micheleacquarone_jan_tr_jborg

Lars Krarup, Micheleacquarone_jan_tr_jborg (Image credit: RCS Sport)

RCS Sport managing director Michele Acquarone, the new director of the Giro d'Italia, promised to pay more attention to taking care of the racers in future editions and listen more to the feedback of cycling fans.

Acquarone took over as race director from Angelo Zomegnan, whose course designs made the Giro bigger, grander, and more difficult in recent years, but which also were the subject of criticism from riders because of long transfers and dangerous roads.

The new director said he listened to the feedback of the race's fans, and promised better conditions for the 2012 edition.

"We have to be closer with the riders, because we are just the organisers, they are the superstars - they are the champions and people want the stars, they don't care about us. We have to speak with them to do the best possible. We have to stick with the riders, and try to do the best as we can because they need to show their talent when they challenge in Italy."

But Acquarone has to balance his company's goal of building new audiences across the globe with ensuring that riders won't face unreasonable transfers.

He said that a start in the USA, which was proposed for 2012, is still a goal, but that it's not possible right now without sacrificing the riders' concerns.

"I always say that this is a big target, this is our dream, nowadays it's not possible. I'm very worried about the jetlag. I can't say we will take care of riders and then we give them six hours of jetlag like that. We have to think very quietly what we want to do, but this is our main goal and our biggest dream."

Growth is always on the mind of a businessman, but Acquarone said that his company has to find new fans in new markets just to survive. He is looking to gain new fans as well as develop newer races such as the Strade Bianche, which he hopes to develop into a major Classic.

"The Strade Bianche is a very beautiful project, it's perfect for a race. We will develop the project in the next years to make it a big classic. Even if it's a new race, it's a classic. The world needs to be able to see it better and to watch it on TV."

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