Damiano Cunego:”Giro d’Italia will be an important test to see if i´m back” – Ciclismo Internacional

Damiano Cunego:”Giro d’Italia will be an important test to see if i´m back”

By @pmpalermo

photo: Bettini

Damiano Cunego is one of the first names it came to mind when you speak about italian cycling, at least in the last decade, when he won Giro 2004 despite being so young.

After a grey 2013 the Cerro Verenoe´s rider showed a good form with 4º at GP Lugano and Strade Bianche, and later he classified 11º in a hard race as Itzulia, including 4 top 10 in 6 days of racing.

About to start his 9ºth Giro, the kind italian spoke to Ciclismo Internacional and analized the season so far, his partners and said he´ll try to be on top and win a stage.

You showed a good level till now…are you back to best form ever?

1- My first aim for this season was to come back to a good level of competitiveness. I worked hard during this winter, I was really focused on this goal and the first part of the season is giving me good feedback. I would have liked to obtain a victory, it would had helped me in having higher morale, but I’m satisfied anyway. Giro d’Italia will be an important test for checking definitely my competitiveness.

You won the Giro 10 years ago…what happened in the middle?usually is different…you become a 3 week rider thru the years…

2- You’re right, usually you get experience year by year and you become more skilled for 3 weeks tours. I’m a bit different, because the recovery after efforts has always been my characteristic and it helped me in winning Giro d’Italia when I was very young.

In this 10 years I obtained many victories in one day races, some of them very important as 3 Giro di Lombardia and 1 Amstel Gold Race, but I also realized good performances in Giro d’Italia, obtaining results close to the podium several times. In Tour de France too I fought for the top position, so I think I demonstrated my skills.

Of course, sometimes I could have did better, but this is true for all the riders.

There are lot of veteran riders to fight for Giro…is this the grand tour of generational change?

3- There are many veterans but also many young guns that are willing to show their qualities in Giro. In my team, there will be Cattaneo, Anacona and Polanc who are young and very skillful riders, but I can also mention Aru as an Italian cyclist that will be very competitive.

Anyway, the course of Giro will be demanding, because every day the bunch will face some difficulties, so the experience will play a key role.

You, Anacona,Niemec…who´s the leader?which role the 2 other will play?

4- The more we are in the head positions, the better is. In fact, it’s also important to consider that the team needs to conquer points in the World Tour ranking: it’s fundamental for having granted the permanence in World Tour circuit.

Niemiec demonstrated his qualities, in 2013 he was 6th: an impressive result. I’ll have no problem in racing with him for common targets.

Anacona is at his debut, the road will give him important feedbacks.

Beside a stage…could you attempt to win climbers jersey?

5- It’s difficult to win climber jersey, because there are riders that focus their attention exclusively on this target. I would prefer to win a stage or to conquer a position in the top places.

Do you know all the stages?where the Giro will be decided?

6- It will be decided day by day, because every stage could add something to the overall classification. I think that after the time trial of Cima Grappa we could already know the winner of Giro.

7-Did you like San Luis experience?can we expect you´ll be back?

7- It was my first time in Argentina and in this race: I really appreciated the courses of the stages, the passion of the fans. I think it could be an experience I’ll evaluate to repeat in the future.

Pablo Martín Palermo
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