The consensus in the forums is that Simoni showed no class in his derogatory comments toward his teammate. But my question is, what exactly did he want Cunego to do? If Cunego didn't have the legs to be up there on the climbs, how can Simoni fault him for that? (That's no different from Savoldelli having no teammates upfront at key moments.) Or did Cunego actually not support his teammate as much as he could have, given his talent and climbing abilities?
He certainly hasn't figured out what it might take to make Cunego willingly go the extra mile (so to speak) to support him. That may have contributed significantly to Cunego's "lack of form" in this years Giro.
During one of the early stage post-stage shows, Gigi Sgarbozza really tore into the DS and Team Manager of Lampre for how they handled the team assignments, etc. He apologized beforehand, saying that he is a great admirer of the TM. The host eventually had to calm him down - he was really incensed (he is a great supporter of Italian cycling). The team people were actually quite timid (apologetic?) when they responded.
In that exchange, and in a couple of interviews during later stages from the team car, the DS pointed out that Cunego was scheduled for the Giro and the TdF, and therefore would not be in prime condition for the Giro. That was one reason why Cunego was supporting Simoni.
The race proved that to be a correct assessment. He eventually ran out of legs, and Simoni should have known that was a possibility. He probably did know, but with Cunego on the ascension and Simoni on the decline career-wise, he looks for any excuse he can find. Not very classy.
Colnago Altain, Klein Pulse II, Stumpjumper FSR, GT Zaskar LE, Pedalforce RS2
I am astonished at Lampre management for pitting the two against each other. Especially considering one is still defending champion. Seems more like retribution or punishment to me.
Lampre already decided Cunego wont defend his championship and ride for Simoni. Last minute based on form? Hardly when you consider they were paraded around like a pair of kindergarteners for the press to see and when asked, they made clear their assigned roles. The submission was obviously agreed upon early on.
"Simoni and Cunego have often clashed on Lampre and the former incarnation of the team, Saeco. Simoni, who was already rumored to be in negotiations with Domina Vacanze for the upcoming season, criticized the work of his team during the Giro, above all Cunego, who he said let him down.
"Cunego responded to the charge by insisting the team fully supported Simoni.
""The team did everything we could to help Simoni. What else could we do? Push him?" Cunego said in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "For me, the Giro was very difficult, more so because of all the hard climbs, the difficulty of the stages and the psychological situation I found myself in. I carried a huge pressure and because of this it was hard to do well. When you're 23 years old, that's hard to carry." "