Damiano Cunego

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Damiano Cunego Road cycling
Damiano Cunego at the Giro d'Italia 2006
Damiano Cunego at the Giro d'Italia 2006
To person
Nickname The little Prince
Date of birth 19th September 1981 (age 38)
nation ItalyItaly Italy
discipline Street
Driver type All-rounder
To the team
Current team Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè
function driver
1997-2001 Zalf / Fior U23
Team (s)
Saeco Macchine per Caffè
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè
Most important successes
Jersey pink.svgOverall ranking Giro d'Italia 2004
Amstel Gold Race 2008
Giro di Lombardia 2004, 2007, 2008
Last updated: July 21, 2017

Damiano Cunego (born September 19, 1981 in Verona ) is an Italian racing cyclist .

Athletic career

After Cunego had become the junior road world champion in his hometown of Verona in 1999 , he switched to the professional camp and became a member of the Saeco team , which was merged with the Lampre team in 2005 . He stayed with this team until 2015. According to his manager Alex Carera, Cunego gets along well with the Galusera family, the owners of Lampre. He is said to have used his influence to have the sporting director Giuseppe Martinelli in 2007 and Roberto Damiani in 2012 had to leave the team.

Cunego achieved his sporting breakthrough in the spring of 2004: after having already won the Giro del Trentino and the Giro dell'Appennino , he started as an assistant to the favorite Gilberto Simoni at the Giro d'Italia 2004 . On the 16th stage to Falzes, Cunego attacked 60 km from the finish. The tactical plan of the Saeco team was that the other favorites would use up their strength and Simoni could counter this. Since there was no reaction to Cunego's attack, he won and conquered the Maglia Rosa from overall leader Yaroslav Popovych , which he did not give up until the end of the tour . Cunego won four stages, including the 18th stage to Bormio 2000 , where the rivalry with Simoni became public. He beat Simoni in the sprint, who then called him a "bastard". At the end of the 2004 season he won the Giro di Lombardia and thus secured the leading position in the UCI world rankings .

Since then, Cunego has not been able to confirm his success at the Giro d'Italia 2004 and has not achieved any victories in the other "Grand Tours" , Tour de France and Vuelta a España . His attempt to defend his title at the Giro d'Italia in 2005 failed, and he was only 18. In retrospect, an illness of Pfeiffer's glandular fever was diagnosed as an explanation for the lack of performance . In 2006 , 2007 and 2012 he placed in the top ten of the Tour of Italy. At the Tour de France 2006 he finished eleventh and won the junior class . He achieved his best placement on the tour in 2011 in sixth place. At the Vuelta a España 2009 he won two stages.

Cunego remained more successful in one-day races : he won the Giro di Lombardia two more times in 2007 and 2008. In 2008 he also won the Dutch ProTour Amstel Gold Race in the uphill sprint of a top group of nine and was runner-up behind Alessandro Ballan in the sprint at the World Championships in Varese .

Suspected doping

A week before the Tour de France 2008 , Cunego started the I am doping free campaign , which numerous drivers joined and wore a sticker with this slogan. At this point, however, Cunego was already suspected of doping himself, especially since he was working with the controversial sports medicine specialist Luigi Cecchini in 2007 . It was also noted that Cunego could not repeat its success at the Giro d'Italia 2004 in any major tour of the country. The hypothesis was put forward that Cunego had stopped doping after 2004 and could therefore no longer repeat his services. His former teammate Leonardo Bertagnolli , who was banned for doping himself , counts Cunego among the clean drivers who have been cheated by drivers like Bertagnolli. Cunego has a different mentality and has always competed against the doping system. The giro victory in 2004 was essentially due to the weak line-up of the race and the tactical blockade of the other favorites in the decisive attack.

In April 2011, the prosecutor announced from Mantua to u. a. To charge Cunego with doping. The investigations were based on tapped phone calls and SMS and are directed against numerous racing cyclists, trainers and doctors and, among others, the manager of Cunegos Lampre team Giuseppe Saronni . In the summer of 2013, the Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport quoted the doping expert Sandro Donati from public prosecutor's documents , who stated that "Damiano Cunego's EPO abuse is indirectly confirmed by information in SMS and phone calls between sports director Brent Copeland and Sergio Gelati ." Copeland was the sports director of Cunegos Lampre and Gelatis Coach. The allegations against Cunego were dropped in November 2015.


In October 2014, Cunego announced that it was leaving the ProTeam Lampre-Merida and switching to the Japanese-Italian team Nippo-Vini Fantini . This change was linked to the start of a sports science degree at the University of Verona .
















Grand Tour placements

Grand Tour 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Maglia Rosa Giro d'Italia 34 1 18th 4th 5 - 17th 11 - 6th - 19th WD 44 -
Yellow jersey Tour de France - - - 11 - WD - 29 6th - 55 - - - -
Red jersey Vuelta a España - 15th - - WD WD WD - - 33 - 76 - - -

Web links

Commons : Damiano Cunego  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Daniel Friebe: Das Cunego Rätsel, Procycling (German edition), January 2014, p. 31 ff
  2. cyclingnews.com of May 30, 2004: Cunego's victory leaves Gibo sour
  3. radsport-news.com from April 20, 2008: Cunego wins Amstel Gold Race on the first attempt
  4. radsport-news.com of September 28, 2008: Ballan World Champion, Wegmann seventh
  5. radsport-news.com of April 9, 2011: Ballan and Cunego are charged with doping
  6. ^ Mantova investigation: Prosecutor calls for jail time for Ballan and others, charges dropped against Lampre. cyclingnews.com, November 10, 2015, accessed November 20, 2015 .
  7. radsport-news.com from October 3, 2014: Cunego starts studying and moves into the 2nd division