Santos Tour Down Under confirms lineup of Astana and Liquigas-Cannondale teams
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Santos Tour Down Under confirms lineup of Astana and Liquigas-Cannondale teams

by VeloNation Press at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Start list for next month’s race continues to take shape

AstanaFormer Vuelta a España stage winner Borut Bozic will go head to head with some of the sport’s other strong sprinters in the Santos Tour Down Under, with the Slovenian being one of fourteen riders confirmed for next month’s race.

Organisers of the event have released the likely listing for both the Astana and the Liquigas-Cannondale teams and while neither will include their biggest names, the composition of both squads suggest they will have solid showings.

In fact, if he’s on form, Bozic is capable of clocking up at least one stage win. Race director Mike Turtur anticipates a big showing from the 31 year old. “We will expect Bozic to come out strong having a taste for victory in 2011, with a stage win at the Tour de Suisse,” he said.

He will be joined by the Italians Francesco Masciarelli and the sprinter Jacopo Guarnieri, plus the Kazakhstan riders Dmitriy Muravyev, Assan Bazayev, Valentin Iglinskiy and Dmitriy Gruzdev. Bazayev is a past national champion and was a fine eighth in last year’s world road race championships.

The Liquigas-Cannondale lineup will include the Italians Stefano Agostini, Alan Marangoni, Federico Canuti,
Daniele Ratto, Mauro Da Dalto and Fabio Sabatini, plus the Slovenian Kristijan Koren.

“Both teams have always been very competitive here in the past, so in 2012, we are expecting no different,” said Turtur. “Muravyev, Bozic and Guarnieri all join Astana for the 2012 season. Guarnieri was selected to add to the team's sprinting stocks, perhaps making him one to watch vying for points for the Jayco Sprint jersey.”

The race begins in just over a month’s time on January 15th and runs for eight days. Most stages are expected to conclude with bunch sprints, but there is also a summit finish on Old Willunga Hill.

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