Liquigas: destination Argentina and Australia
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Liquigas: destination Argentina and Australia

by VeloNation Press at 7:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Divide an conquer is what the Liquigas Team hopes lies in it's future.

Basso and Nibali will be competing in the Tour de San Luis from 19th to 25th, while Chicchi will lead another group at the Tour Down Under, from 18th to 25th January.

The countdown for the beginning of season 2009 in Liquigas’ native Italy is over. Tomorrow two groups will set out to Argentina and Australia. The Tour de San Luis and the Tour Down Under, two short stages races, will be useful as training for the first part of the season in a mild and favorable climate.

Six riders will board the plane heading for Buenos Aires. The most anticipated of those being Ivan Basso, anxious for his debut after a winter of hard training. "I will go to Argentina to work hard and come back in a better form," said the Liquigas team leader. "January is a good month for training, I won't be looking for any results. I don’t want to force anything, the season is long."

Basso will be bringing Vincenzo Nibali with him, and believes he will be one of his key lieutenants for the upcoming season. "I’ve just ended a training period in Sicily, " said Nibali, "and I leave to refine the form. I have good feelings but I must wait for the next races for confirmation. I want to have good form for the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, my main objective this season." The line-up is completed by Kjell Carlström, Murilo Antonio Fischer, Brian Bach Vandborg, and Alessandro Vanotti. The group, lead by the DS Mario Scirea, will enjoy an acclimatization period from the 12th to the 19th.

The other seven riders will head to Australia, suited for the flat routes and sprint finishes of the Tour Down Under.

Francesco Chicchi, who won six races in 2008, will be the teams man for the sprint finishes. During the race, Chicchi will be mentoring the promising neo-professional Jacopo Guarnieri. Guarnieri has an impressive resume with 23 victories in three years while in the under 23 category. Maciej Bodnar, Claudio Corioni, the neo-professional Gianni Da Ros, Aliaksandr Kuchynski and Frederik Willems will complete the lineup and are also heading Down Under. As the “Argentinian Squad”, Chicchi and company will enjoy an acclimatization period. The group will be lead by the DS Dario Mariuzzo.

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