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Gianni Savio: “Pellizotti can finish in the top 10 at the Giro”

Each year, the Giro is Androni Giocattoli’s most important race of the season, a race in which the team managed by Gianni Savio hopes to get at least one stage win. In 2014, the Italian squad wants more than just a stage and for this is putting all of its hopes in Franco Pellizotti, the former national champion. A couple of days ago, Gianni Savio talked for Cafe Roubaix about this, but also about the first months of the season for his team.

– Mister Savio, are you satisfied with the results of your riders so far?

Some of the riders had good results, for example, Kenny van Hummel, who won two races and was on the podium on three continents. Also Manuel Belletti was a protagonist in a couple of races. The best rider of the team was our leader, Franco Pellizotti, who was in the top 10 at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali and at the Giro del Trentino, and I’m really happy for him. On the other hand, I was waiting for more from Johnny Hoogerland. Until now, he didn’t get good results, but I still trust him and I’m waiting for him to shine in the Giro d’Italia.

– How about your two talented neo-pro Italians, Gianfranco Zilioli and Andrea Zordan?

Both Zilioli and Zordan are very young and in their first year as pro riders, and they must adapt to the rhythm of the races. In the amateur ranks, they weren’t used to such a strong pace and action packed races. They need time to form their physique, so that they can be ready for the hard races. This is why the first year as a professional is important, but also difficult. I want more from them next year, when they will be ready to race the Giro.

– What do you think of the Giro course?

It’s a very good race, as was the case in the last years, always interesting and exciting. The rider who will win has to be a complete rider, intelligent, and with a very strong team. Now, on what concerns the stages, everybody’s talking about the Monte Zoncolan, a climb known in Italy as “Il Mostro”, but to win the Giro will not be enough to win there. Joaquim Rodriguez, Nairo Quintana, and Cadel Evans are the main favourites, but this doesn’t mean we can’t have an outsider who can surprise the favourites, like Ryder Hesjedal did two years ago. I think that Domenico Pozzovivo and Michele Scarponi can finish on the podium.

– And with what expectations did Androni start the race?

In this race we have only one leader, Franco Pellizotti, because he was our strongest rider this season, as I said earlier. He can finish in the top 10. Johnny Hoogerland will have all the freedom he wants to get in a breakaway and I hope to see him doing that, just like he did in the last seasons. As for Diego Rosa, is possible for him to do a good GC, but I think it will be better for him to try and win a stage. We also must be realistic: we have good riders, but not as good as the big teams, who have a budget bigger than ours. We can’t think at the maglia rosa, but we have the possibility to win a stage, so this is why I told my riders to keep attacking. One of the cyclists who will attack is Yonder Godoy. I want to see him in a big race, because he doesn’t have any experience, so this is why he’s part of this team. His main role is to go in the breakaways.

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