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Giro Notebook, Stage 17: Rodriguez walks out of press conference; Pinotti eyeing Milan TT

Pinotti already eyeing Milan

Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing) is hoping to survive the coming climbing stages to challenge for the final-day time trial in Milan.

The veteran Italian won the final-day time trial in 2008 and is always among the favorites for victory against the clock.

“I had a good prologue and we rode a good TTT, so I hope to finish off the Giro with a chance to win in Milan,” Pinotti told VeloNews. “I want to finish off the Giro on a good note. It’s been special for me to get back to the race.”

Pinotti crashed out of last year’s Giro along with ex-High Road teammate Craig Lewis. Lewis suffered worse injuries, but Pinotti broke his femur and struggled to regain his fitness last season.

Now 36, Pinotti said he was hoping to ride close to the top 10, but struggled on Sunday’s soggy stage across the climbs near his home in Bergamo.

“I had a really bad day (Sunday) and I lost a lot of time and fell back in GC. That’s too bad, because I was hoping I could have stayed close to the top 10,” said Pinotti. “I had a crash and I just wasn’t feeling good that day. Overall, I have to be content to be back near top form in this Giro. I am glad that I am back to my level.”

After the Giro, Pinotti is still on the long list to race the Tour de France, though he is not expecting to get the nod. His next major focus will be the Italian championships at the end of June. A win there could punch his ticket to the London Olympics a month later.

“I would like to win the TT title again,” said Pinotti, who has won it five times, the last in 2010. “I would like to be able to race the Olympics. It depends on how they select the team. We have five riders and they are bringing a team for the road race, but if I am on good form, I can help the team as well as race the time trial.”

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