Bartoli perplexed by Cunego Tour debut

Retired Italian Classics star Michele Bartoli criticises the decision made by Lampre to nominate Dam

Retired Italian Classics star Michele Bartoli criticises the decision made by Lampre to nominate Dam

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Italian Classics legend Michele Bartoli has said he feels young Lampre leader Damiano Cunego is being pushed too hard by his team and should not be starting the Tour de France having recently finished fourth overall at the Giro d'Italia. "I'm perplexed about his decision because it would have been better to compete in his first Tour de France without having already contested the Tour of Italy," Bartoli told AFP.

"If I was in his sports director's place I would not have programmed two big tours in one season. Damiano is young but he has produced intense efforts in the past few months, and in the Giro he did not obtain the expected results," said Bartoli, who retired from racing in 2004.

Bartoli explained that he thought Cunego should be concentrating on the world road championship in Salzburg at the end of September. "After the finish of the Tour he will have a month and a half to prepare properly, but that depends on him looking after himself and conserving his energy," Bartoli said.

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