#19 – Androni Giocattoli – Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni (Preview Ranking: not ranked)
What We Said:
Nothing, we didn’t rank them in our preseason top-20. Hindsight’s 20/20.
What We Saw:
Left out of our pre-season top-20, Androni was a team thought by many to contain little more than aging veterans, washed-up former stars, and men most likely to be seen on the next list of doping positives. Little did we know that by the end of the season, this punchy band of agitators would find itself in second-place only due to a technicality in Tirreno-Adriatico, fourth-place (with a stage win) in the Giro d’Italia, and second yet again in the Tour of Lombardy—plus several other Italian wins and placings to boot.
In all, Androni took home 15 wins in 2010. Of these, four came at January’s Tour de San Luis in Argentina, one was the Swiss National Time Trial Championship, and another was a stage in the Tour of Austria. In other words, like many Professional Continental teams, this is a squad designed for success at home. (And heck, with so many sponsors on the jersey, can you blame them for wanting a bit of hometown exposure?)
That said, while the team’s best results mostly came thanks the efforts of one rider, they are impressive nonetheless. Michele Scarponi was a consistent instigator at Tirreno, the only man able to follow Basso and Nibali in the Giro, and the lone soul attentive to stay out of trouble and in Gilbert’s slipstream at Lombardy. Some call it luck; I call it a man who knows how to stick to his program.
Most Valuable Rider:
With second places in Tirreno and Lombardy to go with his stage win and fourth-place overall in the Giro, it goes without saying that Michele Scarponi was Androni’s most valuable rider this season.
Biggest Disappointment: After leading the race for much of the week, Scarponi missed the win at Tirreno due to a tiebreaker. The leader heading into the race’s final stage, Scarponi let Stefano Garzelli steal the 2-seconds he needed to draw even on time via a mid-race bonus sprint. Tied atop the GC, the win went to the rider with highest combined stage finishes. Much to Androni’s dismay, it wasn’t Scarponi.
Biggest Surprise: Call me a cynic, but only one of Androni’s riders was popped for “medical irregularities” this season (Massimo Giunti). Given the track records of several men on the roster, I’d call that a surprise. Aside from that, give credit to Alessandro Bertolini—at almost 40 years of age, the guy still wins races.
And that’s it for #19 in our Team-by-Team Season Review. Look for #’s 18 and 17 tomorrow.
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