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Di Luca A Favorite for San Remo

Team Saeco Press Release – Danilo Di Luca’s comments on the eve of Milan- San Remo

“Saturday’s Milan-San Reom is the third time I ride the race. In 1999 I finished in the second group while in 2000 I was ill during Tirreno-Adriatico and so didn’t ride. Last year I missed the decisive move of the race after a crash on the descent of the Cipressa split the bunch.”

“I’m happy to be one of the favourites. It’s not a problem for me when I’m put under pressure.To tell the truth when i’m going well and I’m not conisdered a favourite in an important race it makes me angry.”

After what I’ve seen at Tirreno-Adriatico i think this Milan-San Remo will be a different kind of race. Ithink there will be a split on the Cipressa and my team and I will do everything we can to get to the bottom of the Poggio with a group of at the most 30 riders.”

“I’d prefer a fast race right from the start so that we can make the sprinters suffer in the key moments of the race.”

“I think there are other teams who are also interested in making a selection on the Cipressa. Fassa Bortolo, Mapei and Rabobank above all. Unfortunately when several teams have the same idea, it sometimes means that nothing happens because they all wait for each other to move first.”

“I think Mapei and Fassa Bortolo have the same interests as us to make it a hard race becuase riders like Petacchi, Betini and Freire have shown they can all ride well on the climbs. The Cipollini we saw at Tirreno-Adriatico was not the same in-form rider we saw at the Tour of the Mediterranian. He could suffer on the climbs. Whatever we’ll won’t wait and see what happens. We’ll attack on the Cipressa with Spezialetti. He can go hard for the whole climb and then I’ll try and make a move on the Poggio. I think Bettin and Figueras have a similar tactic in mind.”

“The climb of Bric Berton? It’s a long way from the finish and so don’t think it’ll make much difference. I personally prefered the Turchino, for reasons of tradition.”

“I’ll have a good team to help me in the race. As well as Spezialetti, i’ll also have experienced riders like Biagio Conte and Alessio Galletti. In the key moments Mirko Celestino and Igor Astarloa will be with me.”

“I know I’m a favourite but if things don’t go as I planned, I won’t be disappointed. There are another ten races in the World Cup -nine for me because I won’t be riding Paris-Roubaix. Some of them really suit my riding style so I’ll have other chances of winning.”

“A possible surprise? I think Erik Dekker. He could make a late attack like Andrei Tchmil did a few years ago. Dario Frigo could also be dangerous. He’s looking to comeback and was in good form at Paris-Nice, with a bit more luck he could even have won it.”

Milan, March 22, 2002.

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