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Gasparotto Motivated by Tour Debut

Discussion in 'Specialized' started by I-am-Specialized, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. I-am-Specialized

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    <p>Enrico Gasparotto says new arrivals such as Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang will bolster Team Astana's chances in the grand tours for 2013.</p><p>
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    The former Italian national champion said the pair will be Astana's cornerstones for the grand tours, with Nibali taking aim for the Giro d'Italia and Fuglsang targeting the Tour de France.</p><p>
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    "We have a stronger base this year in the grand tours," Gasparotto said. "Nibali is going all out to win the Giro and we will bring a strong team to support him. We have Jakob for the Tour. The team is very motivated this year."</p><p>
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    The 30-year-old Italian starts his fifth season with the Kazakh-backed Team Astana and is coming off his most successful, yet frustrating season.</p><p>
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    "We have several nice additions to the team. Everyone is working well together," he said, before joking. "There are less Kazakhs and more Italians. I can understand more around the dinner table now!"</p><p>
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    "Gaspa" enjoyed a spectacular spring, with victory at Amstel Gold Race and third at Liège-Bastogne-Liège behind teammate Maxim Iglinskiy.</p><p>
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    After racing the Giro d'Italia, which included several breakaway attempts, Gasparotto suffered a horrible crash in the opening team time trial at the Vuelta a España, ending his season with a broken collarbone.</p><p>
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    Gasparotto is making his season debut at the Tour Down Under.</p><p>
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    "I haven't raced since July, so I am here to suffer," he said. "I am using this race to build my fitness for the spring classics. It is hot here, much better than in Europe, which is cold and snowing everywhere."</p><p>
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    His first season peak will be a return to the Ardennes before reloading for the Tour de France later this summer.</p><p>
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    "Last year was like a dream in the Ardennes, with two victories. We know it will be hard to repeat, but we are working to be in top shape," he said. "Later, I will race the Tour. I will help Jakob and have some chances to try to win a stage."</p><p>
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    After the Tour Down Under, he will ride Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo and the Vuelta al País Vasco to ramp up for the grueling spring classics.</p><p>
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    After that, it's all about getting ready for the Tour.</p><p>
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    "I am excited because it will be the first time I will race the Tour in my nine-year professional career," he said. "I have worn the pink jersey in the Giro, so why not the yellow jersey, too?"</p><p>
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    The maillot jaune * not a bad goal to shoot for in July.</p>

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