PARIS (AFP) — Italian rider Michele Scarponi said he will look to legendary sprinter Alessandro Petacchi for inspiration after Lampre announced that he will lead their challenge on the Tour of Spain.
Scarponi, 31, added that while he was in good form having finished second in the Tour of Italy behind Alberto Contador in May, he would look to win stages initially and then contemplate a challenge for the overall title.
“The target is to succeed day after day in winning stages,” said Scarponi. “If things are going in the right direction, we will then look at raising our sights.”
Scarponi said that the team was a strong one for the race which gets underway with a team time-trial in Benidorm on Saturday.
“The team is a truly complete one with climbers like Przemyslaw Niemiec and experienced riders such as Aitor Perez Arrieta. Not forgetting Francesco Gavazzi, who is in superb form.
“What’s more, there will be Petacchi who can win the sprints and who will be very important to me just for his being there.
“I won’t forget the role he played for the team during the Giro.” Petacchi, 37, has won 20 stages in the Vuelta, his first coming in 2000 and the last in the 2010 edition just two days before he pulled out of the race following a crash.
Lampre for the Vuelta a España: Francesco Gavazzi (ITA), Marco Marzano (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Przemyslaw Niemiec (POL), Alessandro Petacchi (ITA), Aitor Perez Arrieta (ESP), Daniele Righi (ITA), Michele Scarponi (ITA), Alessandro Spezialetti (ITA).