Giro d’Italia – The Favourites Reveal Their Ambitions

The big-name riders of the [W:Giro d?Italia] revealed their hopes and objectives for the 2012 Corsa Rosa in the pre-race press conference held at the MCH Herning Kongrescenter on Thursday. 2011 winner Michele Scarponi, Ivan Basso, John Gadret, Roman Kreuziger, Frank Schleck, Joaquin Rodriguez and Thor Hushovd all took part in the press conference. The riders said: [W:Michele Scarponi]: ?There are a lot of favourites this year, who all have an equal chance of victory or to climb on the podium. This will affect the first part of the race; it?ll be more difficult to control. My form is good and will improve. Damiano Cunego is not a rival within the Lampre-ISD team. We?ll have a tactical advantage on the other riders.? Michele Scarponi - 2011 Maglia Rosa [W:Ivan Basso]: ?Two crashes cost me two weeks of important racing early in the season but I?ve done a lot more work in the last 40 days. I?m 34 and I?ve got to trust my experience. We?ll see stage by stage but I?m confident I can fight for success with the best riders in the race. My team is ready and we all trust each other. That?s how it has to be to ensure we are a strong team right from the start. Then we?ll see what happens in the race.? [W:John Gadret]: ?I wasn?t a favourite last year but I proved what I could do. I?ll try and do the same thing, if not even better. The last week of the route is very difficult, all the stages are tough. But it?s the riders who make the race. Though I think the Stelvio will decide this year?s winner.? [W:Joaquin Rodriguez]: ?In Spain they say I?m the biggest favourite to win the Giro for several years. I don?t think there?s one big favourite in the race. There are a lot of riders who can win the Giro, including some who could cause a surprise. The last week will be tough and will decide the race. The problem here in Denmark will be the wind. I don?t like it but I?m not worried about it.? [W:Roman Kreuziger]: I think I?m going well. I?ve stepped up every year since 2008. I haven?t won a grand tour but I?m confident that I?m progressing. My season is going well. I had a good Tirreno-Adriatico, Giro del Trentino and Tour de Romandie. We?ll see if it?s my year.? [W:Frank Schleck]: ?I was at the playground with my daughter when I got the call and was asked to ride the Giro d?Italia. It was a shock but then I looked at the race route and realised it?s a good opportunity for me. I?m happy to be here. I had some time off the bike after the classics and in the first week it?ll be important to find my form but least I?m fresh.? [W:Thor Hushovd]: ?My season hasn?t gone as I hoped so far. I was sick at Milano-Sanremo, crashed at Paris-Roubaix and lost the race. I?m motivated to do well at the Giro d?Italia and want get a first win wearing a BMC jersey. I?m especially looking forward to the opening stages in Denmark, it?s like racing at home for me.? After the press conference, Michele Scarponi was presented with the maglia rosa as winner of the 2011 Giro d?Italia by Michele Acquarone ?the general director of RCS Sport and Mauro Vegni ?the Giro d?Italia race director. Michele Scarponi - 2011 Giro trophy

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