The only two Italian teams in the Tour de France, which begins Saturday, June 30, both announced their team formations today:
"Balanced, experienced and ready to support its leaders: these are the key qualities of the line-up selected by Liquigas-Cannondale for the Tour de France. The race opens on Saturday in Liège with a 6.4 km prologue and finishes in Paris on 22nd July. DS Stefano Zanatta, Mario Scirea and Paolo Slongo will be in charge of the nine green-blue riders.
As everyone knows Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso have been chosen to lead the Liquigas-Cannondale team. The “Shark” is targeting the general classification, the Slovakian champion is hunting down stage wins and our man from Varese has the role of “director”. They are supported by riders with previous experience of the difficulties posed by the Grande Boucle, such as rouleurs Daniel Oss, Kristijan Koren, and Alessandro Vanotti and the climber Sylwester Szmyd. Federico Canuti and Dominik Nerz are on debut and complete the line-up.
"We’ve got a group determined of men for this race who are ready to support their captains’ ambitions," said Zanatta. "The guys know each other well; many of them have followed similar preparation programmes to help things go smoother during the race. We’ll be on the frontline in this Tour de France to support the ambitions of Nibali and Sagan, and we’re aware of the responsibilities awaiting us. We’re aiming for the top of the general classification and will support Vincenzo all the way to the last stage, plus we’ll strive to put Peter in the best possible position to win at least one stage. In his case it’s right to be ambitious but we’ll be mindful of the difficulties and pressures involved in a race like the Tour: the aim is to get a win and anything after that is a bonus. And finally Basso’s role will be essential for Nibali in the tougher stages and for managing the more intense phases of the race. His experience and charisma will be fundamental for helping the team when the pressure hots up."
"It's an international mold for Lampre-ISD that will take part in the Tour de France (30 June-22 July): nine blue-fuchsia cyclists are from six Countries (Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Australia and Ukraine-France).
These are the nine riders: Grega Bole, Danilo Hondo, Yuriy Krivtsov, Matthew Lloyd, Marco Marzano, Alessandro Petacchi, Michele Scarponi, Simone Stortoni and Davide Viganò. The mix of Ukraine and France is due to Yuriy Krivtsov, who was born in Pervomaisk (Ukraine), but has a French passport.
In the staff of general manager Saronni there will be sport directors Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani, technical director Roberto Damiani, doctor Beltemacchi, masseurs Bertolone, Bolzonaro, Borgognoni, Capelli and Napolitano, mechanics Baron, Pengo and Romanò, driver Bozzolo and press office responsibles Appiani and Carlo Saronni.
The team will be characterized by two groups, one concerning the fast wheels (Petacchi and Bole could aim for top results in the sprints), the other one ready to be competitive on the climbs, with Scarponi who'll try to be a protagonist in the most demanding stages.
Some statistical data: the average age of the team in Tour de France will be 31 years old (the oldest Petacchi, 38 years old; the youngest Bole, 26 years old); the average height os 177 cm (Hondo the tallest, 186 cm; the shorter Stortoni, 169 cm); only Petacchi has won stages in the Tour de France."
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