Although he has been overshadowed by Ivan Basso?s success in the Giro d?Italia and his role as favourite for the Tour de France, Damiano Cunego is determined to bounce back and has decided to ride the Tour de France.

Cunego will not be riding for the yellow jersey when he gets to France; instead he will concentrate on stage wins and learning as much as he can during the three weeks.

?I?m only 24 and I?m still learning the ropes, so it?s important I find out what the Tour is about,? he told Cycling Weekly after winning the Alessio Galletti memorial criterium on Friday night in Tuscany.

Cunego considered saving himself for the World Championships in September and the end-of-season Classics, but directeur sportif and mentor Giuseppe Martinelli convinced him to ride the Tour.

?He can learn something every hundred metres during the Tour de France and he will be a better rider afterwards,? Martinelli said.
?He has no chance of winning it overall because there are two long time trials and not many climbs, but he has to find out the hard way what the Tour is all about.?