Bardiani-CSF arrive at the 98th Giro d’Italia with nine combative cyclists, mixing experience and youth, a combination that already bore fruit last season, when they were done with three sets of the Corsa Rosa, a brilliant achievement
With the difficult task to match what was done in 2014, Ciclismointernacional.com contacted two riders directed by Reverberi: Stefano Pirazzi and Edoardo Zardini. The first one, with a vast experience, occupying a place in the squad since 2010 (Colnago-CSF). While the second is just starting to show his potential. However, both are united by the same goal: to bring the colors of Bardiani-CSF to the top of the podium.
Pirazzi, 28, will take part for the 6th time (consecutive), being a regular in the top level of the Italians since 2010. Last year he took his first win, in the 17th stage, ending a lengthy breakaway. “I planned my peak for the Giro. I want to win a stage”. While for the young Zardini, 25, it will be his 3rd participation in the Corsa Rosa “I was training at the Etna with Bongiorno. It was the perfect preparation for a grand tour and we did a lot of intensity those two weeks”.
Both will start the first Grand Tour of the season with good performances in their latest appointments. Stefano, with 28 days in his legs, finished 11th in the Giro del Trentino and Melinda, being his worst finish 13th place, and 2nd in the Giro dell’Appennino. Meanwhile, Edoardo accumulates 23 days of activity, occupying the 10th position in Trentino, a 6th place in Brentonico, and 8th in the Apennines.
The offensive Pirazzi is the most visible face of the Green group in the Corsa Rosa, in addition to the aforementioned victory, winning the jersey of the mountain two years ago: “I will try to stay with the best on the mountains and of course, the blue jersey could be an objective”.
Meanwhile, the talented Zardini was a little victory last season, achieving a meritorious 5th place in the stage with end in Panarotta. This time, the rider born in Peschiera del Garda (Verona) with more experience and higher quality, trying to get the prized win that makes you the talk of the cycling world. “I marked some stages but I want to be with the GC riders on the mountains”.
Regarding options, Bardiani want to repeat their great performance, last year, where they took three stages, our protagonist raised in Alatri (Lazio) was sincere and said: “Will be hard to repeat the three victories from 2014 but we have high expectations and our goal is to achieve at least one stage”.
Two great climbers, our interviewees have shone in one week races, bringing wins for both Pirazzi and Zardini as Bardiani-CSF. As a review, it’s worth noting that in 2013, Stefano was the best placed Bardiani rider, in the overall Giro, finishing 44th. While a year ago, Battaglin and Edoardo were the best, ending at 52° and 53° position.
Asked whether they believe they can become the visible face on events of three weeks, former Colnago said: “I’d compare with myself to see if I’m able to improve”. While Zardini was cautious: “I still don’t know my limits and only think about stages”.
With great cyclists in the “9” of the Italians, among them our interviewees, Enrico Battaglin, Francesco Bongiorno or Sonny Colbrelli, Pirazzi said “Of course, we’ll have a leader but there will be room for everyone”. Zardini agreed: “Yes, there will be opportunities for all of us. Giro is long and with different kind of stages”.
Asked whether the drought of wins was effecting Reverberi’s squad ahead of his participation in the Italian race, the roman cyclist said that “there’s not an extra pressure”. Meanwhile, the winner of stage 3 of the Tour of Britain 2014 also thought about it and said: “True. We still have to get our first win but that keep us extra motivated. It doesn’t affect us”.
It is noteworthy that Bardiani is the youngest team in Giro (avg 25y + 74d). In a line up where Stefano Pirazzi just over 25 years, the young boys Zardini, Bongiorno and Battaglin, guided by the experienced cyclist from Lazio, they will try, with a combination already paid off the last edition, to be protagonists in the mountains and bring new wins in the current season.
Franco Xavier Videla
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