Liquigas extends its contract with the team
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Liquigas extends its contract with the team

by Neil Browne at 6:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

According to the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Liquigas, a provider of liquified gas, is extending their contract as sponsor of the ProTour team Liquigas-Doimo.

It is also reported that the contracts of the Liquigas-Doimo's general classification riders Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger were extended.

Team Sky and Omega Pharma-Lotto were vying for Nibali's signature in the off-season, but the Italian team refused to release him from his contract. With his seventh overall in the 2009 Tour de France, Nibali has proven he has a furture as a general classification rider. However, with two strong overall contenders in Basso and Pellizotti focused on the Giro and the Tour, Nibali will have to wait until the Vuelta a España for his chance at team leadership.

Twenty-four year old Roman Kreuziger is also tipped as a a future Grand Tour contender. He was ninth overall and second in the young rider competition in last year's Tour de France. Like Nibali, the team has decided that Kreuziger will have to wait till the Vuelta for an opportunity at co-leadership with his teammate.

Basso is contesting both the Giro and the Tour and is reportedly putting an emphasis on the Tour de France should organizers allow him to ride.

"I am certain that I can battle for the pink jersey at the Giro and for the podium at the Tour. It would be a mistake not to have these ambitions after I placed fifth at the Giro and fourth at the Vuelta last year, and with two years suspension behind me," said Basso.

The team's sprinter, Daniele Bennati is also reported to have put pen to paper and extended his contract with the team. Bennati's has won nine stages total in all three Grand Tours and, after being winless since February 2009, has put himself in as a threat with a stage victory in the recent Tour of Qatar and a strong showing in the Tour of Oman.

Franco Pellizotti who has been seen as a co-leader with Basso in the stage races is reported to be leaving at the end of the season for Lampre-Farnese Vini. At thiry-two years of age Pellizotti must realize that it is now or never for him to strike out on his own. This year he is concentrating on the Giro and taking the Tour day by day aiming on stage wins or the climber's jersey.

There is no word if the other co-title sponsor Doimo, an Italian furniture company, has extended their contract with the team.


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