Sure the Classics are really ramping up with the Tour of Flanders next week, but this past week was big for Giro D’Italia contenders. Ivan Basso and Damiano Cunego came out to play and they may be sparking a reinterest in hype for a Cunego Basso Duel in the Giro. The two hyped contenders of the 2005 Giro may be setting themselves up for the match that everyone expected last year.
Damiano Cunego wrapped up the overall victory in the Settimana Internazionale Ciclistica Coppi e Bartali. The win came about from a decisive road stage win. The sprint that Cunego unleashed was enough to give him a gap of a few bike lengths. That was a sure sign that Cunego is back on form. This year the Lampre squad is working entirely for Cunego, no more Simoni split. Plus is Cunego can stay healthy and injury free to the Giro run up he should come in as a top favorite.
Damiano Cunego took the stage win and the overall GC lead at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi & Bartali. The stage finish in Fiorano is home to one of Ferrari Formula 1 team’s test tracks. It is also the site of Kid Cunego’s firt win of the season. Lampre have had a good run so far with Danilo Napolitano, Alessandro Balllan and Bennati chalking up early several wins already this year. Now, Cunego looks to be coming into winning form already in March.
The Lampre team helped launch Cunego to victory today by doing the pace making going into the finale. In the final sprint, “The Kid” beat out Luca Mazzanti, Massimo Giunti and Riccardo Riccò to take the win.
Danilo Napolitano the Sicilian sprinter for Lampre Fondital won the first semi-stage at the Settimana Coppi and Bartali. Napolitano improved on his fifth place showing in Milano San Remo. Although most of the top sprinters that beat him were not present today.
In the second half stage- a team time trial, CSC got a rare 2006 early season win. The unlucky squad finally got through with no injuries and actually grabbed the leaders jersey which now sits on David Zabriske’s shoulders. The CSC winning riders included: Gustov, Lombardi, Zabriskie, Klostegaard, Piil, Luttenberger, Blaudzun and Sorensen. They beat Gerolsteiner by 5 seconds and T-Mobile by 8 seconds.
Gazzetta Dello Sport