tuttobiciweb.com reports that Gilberto Simoni is trying out another type of bike. After a successful stint as a mountain biker where he grabbed a win and a few high placings, Gibo is focusing on the track. He is getting fitted for a track bike in England and will take to the board in Manchester with teammate David Millar.
No surprise here, but Gilberto Simoni retracted all of the statements he made about Ivan Basso offering him money for the stage win to Aprica. Simoni, who does not react well to other riders beating him sunk to a new low by suggesting Ivan Basso offered a stage win in exchange for cash. Simoni even called Basso an “extra terrestrial” not implying that Basso had a heart that glows and a friend named Eliot, but that he was doping.
“I made some erroneous statements but I didn’t want to damage Basso’s reputation, certain things are part of the race,” said Simoni, alluding to the common practice of Tour leaders to elicit help from a breakaway companion in exchange for allowing the companion to take the stage victory unopposed.
“Simoni has denied everything. There was never any question of an agreement, even less so a sum of money,” said the rider’s lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone. “However, he was interviewed straight after the finish and he was flustered. But there was never any mention of numbers, we now want the affair to be closed, also for the sake of the Saunier-Duval team.”
All this may mean that Simoni will likely be suspended and have to miss the Tour de France. This will spare the press of Simoni’s his usual poor Tour performance excuses and complaints. No class.
Italians love a good polemica between riders. A duel between riders is not quite enough, there has to be some sort of hatred or antagonism to add to the rivalry. If it was the battle between Coppi and Bartali in the 50s or Moser vs Saronni in the 80s, Chiaucci vs Bugno vs Pantani in the 90 and others. Now comes the latest in the line of polemics with the new battle between Gilberto Simoni and Ivan Basso.
Accusations from Simoni have come out after Saturday’s Giro stage to Aprica where Ivan Basso cemented a dominating Giro win with his third stage win. The win was particularly sweet since Basso was celebrating the birth of a new son whose picture he proudly showed the world as he crossed the finish line. Life couldn’t be better for Basso. Now Sourpuss Simoni is accusing Basso of not playing fair. First, Simoni was bitter that Basso asked him to take it easy on the descent of the Mortirolo so not to take risks. Surely Simoni thought that as a reward for chilling out, Basso would give him the stage win. Sadly for SS, it was not to be since Basso has been so much stronger than anyone else this Giro. The Smiling Assasin was not in a giving mood especially since Jens Voight gave a gift to Juan Manuel Garate the day before. Team manager Bjarne Riis must have been proud of the gesture on the outside, but cycling is as much a business as it is a sport, so a Giro stage win is quite a gift. So, CSC weren’t that much in a giving mood especially as Basso was so much stronger than Simoni at this point.
Today, Simoni has upped the ante by accusing Basso of asking for cash in exhange for allowing Simoni to take the stage win. Simoni let these accusations fly in the press, while Basso and CSC chose to ignore these statements. Lets make this clear, deals are brokered in the peloton all the time. Riders discuss deals when helping a team or negotiating a stage win. This is not new. It could be an unsavory aspect to the sport, but if a deal is offered or not there is no discussion thereafter, especially in the press. Seems like Simoni is either making up the story or doing a very unsportsman like gesture and blabbing to the press about a potential deal. Either eay,this is a no class move by a rider who is no stranger to shooting off his mouth whenever things do not go his way. The 2004 Giro is a perfect example as Simoni would be throwing all types of accusations at Cunego. Even at the Tour of California, Simoni was complaining about the tougher than expected pace of the race. Simoni was also at odds with Marco Pantani throughout his career, and helps deny the Pirate a stage win in his final Giro in 2003. So, Simoni is definatley no stranger to polemics with other riders, this is simply the latest round of “who can PO Gibo”
(pic from eurosport.com)
The Giro started this weekend and may have ended this weekend too. Ivan Basso put down a Lance Armstrong/Miguel Indurain type of performance on the first real mountin top finish of the Giro. As Carlos Sastre set a tempo reminiscent of Discovery Channel/Postal leadout of the past seven years, Basso simply clicked away as contenders drifted off the back of the group.
The first of the contenders to feel the pain was Danilo DiLuca. “The Killer” did not seem to be on form all this weekend. It was reported that DiLuca was suffering some sort of ailment on Saturday which showed. On Sunday his pace was much better, but he was one of the first top contenders to get launched off the back.
Paolo Savoldelli had a good ride, but probably lost one minute more than he would have liked. He was not going to keep up with the top mountainmen in the Giro this year, which may mean that he does not have much of a chance to repeat his win from last year.
Gilberto Simoni could not get launched by his teamate Leonardo Piepoli. The small Italian climber helped Gibo get to the top of the climb on Sunday as Basso simply rode away with the win. Simoni felt that he set a good pace and was frustrated that he could not muster any more speed. Is he getting old? Not really he placed respectably, he is just not as fast as Basso or Cunego.
Gilberto Simoni is a happier man this year. He is on his own team with former team manager Pietro Algeri who guided his Lampre team when he won the Giro in 2001. Life is better than 2004 when Simoni felt up ended by the young upstart Damiano Cunego. Simoni was one of the few Italians that wasn’t cheering for the young prospect who won the hearts of Italian fans only a few months after the death of Marco Pantani. Gibo was so sore at Cunego’s win that he was seen shouting some less than professional remarks at “The kid” during a maglia rosa presentation.
Last year Gibo was able to reassert himself as leader of Lampre as Cunego was not on form due to a bout with Epstein Barr syndrome. Gibo placed second behind a scrappy performance by Paolo Salvodelli and ahead of a very dangerous Jose Rujano.
This year’s Giro has a tough last week that makes Simoni happy with his chances. With a more relaxed and supportive team atmosphere, Simoni will definately be a protagonist once again. His track record in the Giro is very good as he either wins or is close to the top just about every year. The double Giro champ has some stiff competition as always. But Gibo can relax since the Italian hype machine is not focusig on the Battaliga Italiana like it did last year when all eyes were on seeing part two of the intra-team rivalry between Simoni and Cunego.
The Giro del Trentino started today with a tough climb that brought out the climbing sprinters.
Damiano Cunego looks to have good form going into the Grio D’Italia as he was just beaten by winner Luca Mazzanti in the final sprint. The day was marked by a crash involving Franco “Porno hair” Pellizzotti
and Gilberto Simoni. Pelli sustained a puncture type wound to his knee while Simoni bruised his hip. Both look to continue for tomorrows stage.
Gazzetta Dello Sport: Trentino, primo acuto di Mazzanti
Bici Race Preview
AleJet Petacchi and Gibo Simoni are now free to model their new team kits for 2006.
The Team Milram look of Petacchi has a retro feel that almost brings to mind the? Motoroloa jerseys of the early to mid 90s. They keep the ratio of blue jerseys in the Pro Peloton very high. The Saunier-Duval kit used to be very classy and not blue. The yellow with black lines and white was understated and looked good while being very noticable. Unfortunately someone somewhere thought they needed to apply some “jazz hands” feeling to the kit.
Gibo doesn’t seem too excited about the artistic license that was taken with the SD team kit, while Emanuele Mori looks a little too happy for the new team kit. Teammate Leonardo Piepoli looks a little surprised at Mori’s over enthused reaction. Hopefully there will be plenty of tweeks to the SD team kit throughout the season.
bettiniphoto.net / the Eye of Cycling
Gilberto Simoni will be racing in California next February. This trip will also include a stop to the Scott USA headquarters and a visit to a wind tunnel to test out Simoni’s aerodynamic positioning.
BiciRace.com :: News :: November 2005
Gilberto Simoni started his scouting mission for the 2006 early. Today Gibo scouted out one of the few climbs of the 2006 Giro that he is not familiar the Plan des Corones. The climb is unpaved at the top, bringing to mind the Col della Finestre climb of 2005. The day turned out full of sunshine so Simoni baorded his racing bike for the climb, and used the Mountain Bike to ride on some snow once at the top. Simoni’s reaction to the Corones:
It is a very difficult climb, the snow covered some of the roads so I could not get an accrate assesment of the roads. But this climb is not far from my house so I will return when the weather is better.
In the 2006 Giro that is rumored to be rich with climbs, Damiano Cunego will return to win
So says Giuseppe Martinelli who coached Cunego to a 2004 Giro win. 2005 has not been a good year for Cunego due to a bout with Epstein-Barr syndrome.
The Tour is on Damiano’s program for 2005 after having missed his first chance this year. We will use the numerous climbs in the Tour to gain experience in a race that will be up for grabs between Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich.
Martinelli is not bitter over the recent departure of Gilberto Simoni after two very difficult years of co-existence with Cunego.
Gilberto was very close to winning his third Giro this past May. He performed well during difficult moments that were brought on by various marking tactics by several teams. He will be back as one of our competitors next year. Our team will now focus on younger riders like Napolitano and Corioni who will help Damiano and not go after personal goals.