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This Saturday Katusha will be taking part in the first of the three Grand Tours, the 95th installment of the Giro d’Italia. Joaquim “Purito”Rodriguez, 4th in last year’s General Classification and in 2012 winner of one stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, two stages at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and, most importantly, the Classic Flèche Wallonne, is the team’s leader. The Giro d’Italia 2012 starts in Denmark and moves into Italy for the ITT in Verona on 9th May.
"It will be quite an interesting Giro”, said Valerio Piva, head of Sports Directors. “Not as hard as last year; still, there will be several mountain stages that will be crucial for the General Classification. Most of them will be in the final, very difficult week, with tough finishes in Cervinia, Pian dei Resinelli, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Pampeago and Passo dello Stelvio. The riders will face these crucial stages after two weeks of riding, so only the ones in a very good shape who reserved some energy will have a chance to win the Pink Jersey. But still, Katusha will take part in this competition in order to be a protagonist and not just a bystander: we have a strong team, which we proved over the first part of the season. Of course our ambition is the General Classification with Rodriguez, as the profiles of the routes are suitable to his strengths and he did a great job last year too. But we also have a few riders who can win individual stages: we think we can have an impact on this year’s Giro and we will be trying hard to reach the final ITT in Milan on May 27th with a jersey.”
The Katusha squad:
Pavel Brutt, Mikhail Ignatyev, Alexander Kristoff, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez, Gatis Smukulis, Angel Vicioso
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva, Claudio Cozzi, Michael Rich