Liquigas brings a triple threat to Tour
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Liquigas brings a triple threat to Tour

by VeloNation Press at 4:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Italian team Liquigas could very well be the dark horse in this year's Tour de France. Winning the overall is a stretch, but between Italian's Vincenzo Nibali and Franco Pellizotti, and Czech Roman Kreuziger, the team packs a good enough punch to help shape the race and have some success along the way.

Last month Pellizotti showed his potential over a grand tour leap frogging his team captain Ivan Basso to finish in third on the final podium. And while success in Italy by no means says you'll do well in France, the Italian should be able to make his presence known in the mountains.

Fellow Italian Nibali finished 20th in the Tour last year, and after finishing 7th overall in the Dauphine Libere and winning the Giro dell'Appennino is showing that his form has been timed well. The year that's passed could see the young 24-year-old beging to come into his own if he is meant to be a contender for the overall.

Kreuziger had a good showing in the Tour de Suisse last week, and missed out on the white jersey last year to Luxembourg's Andy Schleck. But the 23-year-old could also pull a surprise in with a bid for the podium.

"Bennati, Kreuziger, Nibali and Pellizotti are the four riders that will shoulder our ambitions for the race," said director Roberto Amadio."The first ambition is to finish among the top ten in the general classification, that would be a great result for our two young riders (Kreuziger and Nibali).

"The second ambition is stage wins, either in the sprints (Bennati) or on the climbs (Pellizotti)."

While nobody will willingly let one of Liquigas' three contenders get too far up the road, their sprint chances with Bennati will be remote if Columbia-High Road's Mark Cavendish is in the group. Their sprinter simply won't have a leadout that can match the American team, and best of the rest will be tough with the sprint talent at the start.

Liquigas team for the Tour de France:

Daniele Bennati (ITA), Roman Kreuziger (CZE), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (BLR), Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Franco Pellizotti (ITA), Fabio Sabatini (ITA), Brian Vandborg (DEN), Alessandro Vanotti (ITA), Frederik Willems (BEL)

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