14 Facts About Damiano Cunego


Damiano Cunego was born on 19 September 1981 and is an Italian former professional road racing cyclist, who rode professionally between 2002 and 2018 for the Saeco Macchine per Caffe, Lampre–Merida and Nippo–Vini Fantini–Europa Ovini teams.

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Damiano Cunego finished second in the UCI Road World Championships in 2008 and in the 2008 UCI ProTour.

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Damiano Cunego was discovered by Giuseppe Martinelli who worked closely with Marco Pantani.

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Damiano Cunego turned professional in 2002 at the age of 20 with Saeco Macchine per Caffe–Longoni Sport, winning the Giro d'Oro and the Giro Medio Brenta in his first season.

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Damiano Cunego came to prominence in May 2004, winning the Giro d'Italia at the age of 22 with Saeco Macchine per Caffe.

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Damiano Cunego's strength came as a blow to his captain Gilberto Simoni; relations between the two during the race were strained when Damiano Cunego sprinted away from Simoni to win the 18th stage after Simoni's solo breakaway.

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Damiano Cunego finished the season number one in the UCI Road World Cup, the youngest rider to achieve it, aged 23.

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Damiano Cunego was the last rider ranked first on the world ranking, because from 2005 the ranking was replaced by the UCI ProTour.

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In 2006, Damiano Cunego finished third in Liege–Bastogne–Liege losing to Alejandro Valverde and Paolo Bettini in a sprint finish.

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In 2007 Damiano Cunego again won the Giro del Trentino and his second Giro di Lombardia.

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Damiano Cunego was widely tipped to be victorious in the Tour de France, but he struggled and eventually dropped out before the finish.

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In early 2014 however, details emerged that indicated that Damiano Cunego might have been one of few Lampre riders to refuse treatment by Spanish doctor Jose Ibarguren Taus, who was linked to doping practices.

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In October 2014, it was announced that Damiano Cunego was to leave Lampre–Merida to ride with Nippo–Vini Fantini in 2015.

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In June 2020, Damiano Cunego was hospitalised due to ventriculitis, an infection of the cerebral ventricle.

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