HERNING, Denmark (AFP) — Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi will on Thursday receive the Giro d’Italia’s 2011 maglia rosa following the disqualification of Alberto Contador.
Scarponi finished second to the Spaniard in the 2011 Giro on the road, but Contador officially lost the title in February after testing positive for a banned substance in last season’s Tour de France.
With Contador’s 2011 results wiped from cycling’s record books, Scarponi, who finished 6:10 back, was designated the official winner.
The award ceremony will take place in Herning, Denmark, two days before the start of this year’s Giro. Then on Saturday, Scarponi will line up at the prologue in the pink jersey and will again be one of the favorites.
“It will be a welcome reward, a prize for a very good performance in last year’s Giro,” said the Lampre-ISD rider.
“But I would like to experience the feeling of winning the pink jersey on the road – that will be an added motivating factor for this Giro which is about to get underway.”
Contador was banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for testing positive for anabolic steroid clenbuterol.
But the suspension was back-dated to August 2010, so he plans to make his comeback in the Tour of Benelux this August.