Lampre appoints climbers to aid Scarponi Giro bid

Michele Scaponi (Getty Images)

Michele Scarponi will have three specialist climbers to help his bid to regain the Giro d'Italia title which he won in 2011 while Team Katusha will be without the rider who led it to second overall in the Italian Grand Tour last year.

Scarponi was awarded the race when Alberto Contador was stripped of the title following his failed drugs test in the 2010 Tour de France. The backdated ban wiping out his result at the 2011 Giro and several other results in the same period.

The Italian rider will have compatriot Simone Stortoni, Poland's Przemyslav Niemec and Colombian Jose Serpa to help him in the mountain stages of the first Grand Tour of the year, which gets underway in Naples on Saturday.

The Italian team will also look to Roberto Ferrari for wins in the sprint finishes while Filippo Pozzato will be bidding to make up for a disappointing set of results in the spring one-day classics.

Meanwhile Russian team Katusha will be without 2012 Giro d'Italia runner-up Joaquim Rodriguez, instead appointing Yury Trofimov to spearhead its campaign.

The 29-year-old Russian has been given the chance to prove himself as a Grand Tour rider in the absence of Rodriguez who is focusing on his Tour de France preparation.

"I think our team can obtain a good result," said Katusha Sports Directors Valerio PIVA.

"We will have Trofimov as a leader, but also Caruso proved to be really in shape so we will see. We will have also many riders that can win a stage, such as Paolini, Belkov and Brutt: we will attack and stay in the breakaways all the time we can."

Trofimov's best Giro d'Italia result to date came in 2010, when he finished 28th overall.

"Our goal will be to win at least a stage, and to take a good final position in general classification. I think Trofimov can enter the top-10, and I would be very happy if we manage to take this result.”

Lampre for the 2013 Giro d'Italia: Mattia Cattaneo (ITA), Kristjan Durasek (CRO), Roberto Ferrari (ITA), Przemyslav Niemec (POL), Daniele Pietropolli (ITA), Filippo Pozzato (ITA), Michele Scarponi (ITA), Jose Serpa (COL), Simone Stortoni (ITA)

Katusha for the 2013 Giro d'Italia: Maxim Belkov (RUS), Pavel Brutt (RUS), Giampaolo Caruso (ITA), Vladimir Gusev (RUS), Petr Ignatenko (RUS), Dmitriy Kozontchuk (RUS), Luca Paolini (ITA), Yury Trofimov (RUS), Angel Vicioso (ESP)

SBS will broadcast daily Giro d'Italia highlights at 6:00pm on SBS TWO, and will show eight key stages live on SBS TWO and online right here at Cycling Central.

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