Thursday January 3, 2013
Savio: We will invent something new in LTdL
PETALING JAYA: Italian manager Gianni Savio is well known for his immaculate dressing – almost always in his slick suits – despite being involved in a gruelling sport like cycling.
And he will surely be a sight to behold when he arrives here with his team for this year’s Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from Feb 21-March 2.
Savio, who has guided his team to six overall LTdL titles since 2002, will be here with the latest incarnation of his team – Androni Venezuela.
And this time, he says, they will be the underdogs “because we have lost a number of general classification riders to different teams this year”.
Jose Serpa, the 2009 and 2012 winner, has joined ProTour team Lampre Merida while 2010 winner Jose Rujano has linked up with Vancansoleil. Yonnatha Monsalve, the 2011 winner, has gone to Vini Fatini and is likely to return to the LTdL this year.
“We will invent something new,” said Savio, who is aware that his team will be without any real general classification contenders for the LTdL, which starts in Kangar and ends in Kuala Terengganu.
Savio will bring Venezuelans Carlos Ochoa, Jackson Rodriguez and Tomas Gil Martinez alongside Italian Omar Bertazzo.
Androni are also set to feature two debutants for rookie professionals Patrick Facchini and Diego Rosa of Italy in the LTdL.
“Ochoa and Rodriguez, who usually support our general classification rider, will have more freedom this time while Bertazzo will vie for the sprints,” said Savio.
“We won’t be competing with the goal of winning, as we did in the past with Rujano and Serpa, but we will look at creating some surprises. We’ll do our best to honour the race and try to win the teams’ classification again.”