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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 14:28 GMT 15:28 UK
Saeco
TEAM PROFILE
Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego (left) and Gilberto Simoni
Country: Italy
Team manager: Bruno Vicino
Team leader:
Best Tour: 1999 - Laurent Dufaux, fourth
The team turned up to registration for last year's Tour de France with a swagger appropriate for their predominantly Italian make-up.

But the confidence they seemed to have in team leader Gilberto Simoni faltered as the rider, tipped by many as a major contender, finished a dire 84th.

And this year he was left red-faced when Damiano Cunego, his 22-year-old team-mate rode to victory.

Simoni could only manage third but will lead his team's Tour ambitions.

His career record would suggest he and the team remain strong contenders.

Once again Saeco, the top team overall in this year's Giro, may well have expanded too much energy in the first big tour of the year to pose a real threat in the Gallic countryside.

Aside from the Giro, there have been few major successes for Saeco in the big races this season.

Danilo di Luca did, however, come second to Davide Rebellin in the Fleche-Wallone.





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