After sounding off at Italian national coach Franco Ballerini, Gilberto Simoni wonders whether to fo
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Countries hoping to uncover a talented team leader before next year’s world road championships in Madrid should turn their eyes to Italy, where Saeco’s Gilberto Simoni is indicating that he is ready to follow Davide Rebellin’s ’emigration’ path. The likelihood of Simoni being selected for Italy has receded considerably after the two-time Giro d’Italia winner launched a scathing attack on Italian team selector Franco Ballerini. “A proper national selector doesn’t leave his best riders at home, but knows how to organise them in order to form a real team. That’s what Spain did with Valverde and Freire, and you have seen the result,” Simoni told the Italian press. Probably rather presciently, Simoni then added: “Unless the Italian selector changes it is unlikely that I will appear again in the ‘squaddra azzurra’. Next year I will follow Davide Rebellin’s example and change nationality.” Bids for Simoni’s services should be sent to his home in Trento.