Cunego is late sign-up for tomorrow’s Strade Bianche
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Cunego is late sign-up for tomorrow’s Strade Bianche

by Shane Stokes at 5:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Montepaschi Strade Bianche
Past Giro winner will be just one of many big names taking part in prestigious Italian event

Damiano CunegoFormer world number one Damiano Cunego has decided at the last minute to take part in tomorrow’s Strade Bianche, one of Italy’s top one day races. The 29 year old has shown a return to form this year, winning a stage of the recent Giro di Sardinia at the top of Monte Ortobene. It was his first victory in over 520 days and has had the predicted effect on his morale.

Cunego will join Lampre-Farnese Vini team-mates Leonardo Bertagnolli, Vitaliy Buts, Adriano Malori, Manuele Mori, Przemyslaw Niemiec, Balint Szeghalmi and Denys Kostyuk in the semi-Classic, which takes place on the distinctive white gravel roads of the region.

The 2004 Giro d’Italia winner Cuengo will be just one of many big names to take part in the race, with former world champions Cadel Evans and Alessandro Ballan confirmed for the BMC Racing Team, along with George Hincapie. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek), Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Farnesi Vini-Neri Sottoli) and Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) are just some of the others who will take part.

The roads of the Strade Bianche were the scene of a dramatic Giro d’Italia stage to Montalcino last year, where the peloton fragmented into several different parts and Evans took a superb win.

Tomorrow’s race is 190 kilometres in length. Sixth of these are on the white roads, which throw up great clouds of dust and require good bike handling abilities in dry weather. If it rains, the race is even more testing for the riders due to the technical requirements.

Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) won last year, outsprinting Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) and Michael Rogers (Team HTC – Columbia) to the line in Siena. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin – Transitions) were fourth and fifth.


Teams for Montepaschi Strade Bianche 2011:

Acqua e Sapone
Androni Giocattoli
BMC Racing Team
Colnago – CSF Inox
De Rosa - Ceramica Flaminia
Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli
Geox - TMC
Htc - High Road
Lampre - ISD
Liquigas – Cannondale
Omega Pharma – Lotto
Team Garmin - Cervelo
Team Leopard - Trek
Team Type 1


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