Danilo Di Luca - 2005


In 2005, Di Luca switched to Liquigas-Bianchi, with Mario Cipollini, Dario Cioni, Stefano Garzelli and Magnus Bäckstedt. He led the team for the spring classics. His first victory came in the first stage of the UCI ProTour race Vuelta al País Vasco, which he won overall after defeating Aitor Osa in the final time trial. He won the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne, taking the ProTour leader's white jersey.

Di Luca was seen as suited to races lasting only a few days. His success in the 2005 Giro d'Italia came as a surprise. Here he won two stages and finished fourth. He finished fifth in the Tour de Pologne. With a fourth in the 2005 Züri-Metzgete, he became 2005 UCI ProTour champion.

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