Simoni unhappy with Cunego

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by patch70, May 30, 2004.

  1. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    After Stage 18 of the Giro:

    From http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2004/may04/may30news

    Cunego's victory leaves Gibo sour

    Damiano Cunego's fourth Giro stage win in Bormio 2000 yesterday did not endear him to his team captain Gilberto Simoni, who had set his sights on the stage himself, but was unable to ride clear of the group on the lower slopes of the climb. Simoni's attack was negated by Dario Cioni, who also dragged Gonchar and Cunego up to the Trentino man's back wheel. The group stayed together after that, with only Perez Cuapio managing to chase back on.

    In the last 200m, Simoni was on Cunego's wheel when he jumped, and either didn't or couldn't follow him when he went and won the stage. After the stage finished, Simoni turned around and rode down the mountain to the team bus without talking to anyone, a with a sour, angry look on his face. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that as Simoni passed by Cunego, who was surrounded by journalists, Gibo pointed his finger at the 22 year old Maglia Rosa and angrily said "You're a bastard...you are really stupid."

    It seems that Simoni, who really wanted to win the stage, was peeved for two reasons. After the chase group caught him on the ascent of Bormio, Cunego rode too hard of a rhythm, which took whatever remaining "juice" out of Simoni's legs there was. Then Simoni thought that Cunego didn't do a very good job of leading him out, and then further humiliated the proud mountain man by sprinting away for the stage win.

    After the stage, Simoni and his wife left the team hotel and went for a walk after dinner, which is when Cunego then came down to the dining room.
     
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  2. SLS

    SLS New Member

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    From Velonews:
    http://www.velonews.com/race/int/articles/6182.0.html

    It's been a frustrating Giro for defending champion Simoni. After crossing Friday's finish line at Bormio 2000, he abruptly turned around and rode back down to the team hotel. The Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that he called Cunego "a bastard and an idiot" for reeling in Simoni's solo attack and then taking the victory on the climbing finish.

    "I was upset that Damiano wanted to win in such a dominant fashion this Giro," Simoni said Saturday. "I didn't think that was necessary when Damiano accelerated in front of me in Friday's stage. It did annoy me, but that's all finished now."

    Tempers seemed to cool overnight, and Saeco was all smiles in the start village in sunny Bormio, site of the 2005 World Alpine Ski Championships.

    "I read his statements and we had a discussion this morning and cleared things up," Cunego said. "It's the kind of thing you say and later on when you think about it you regret it.

    I wonder if someone is doing to be leaving the team at the end of the season? It was a great race none the less.
     
  3. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    Certainly was an interesting race.
    Will be interesting to see the outcomes, both short term (ie will either rider leave Saeco or give the other less support?), and long term (ie just how many Grand Tours is Cunego capable of winning?).
     
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