The Liquigas-Cannondale line-up for the Tour de France. Nibali, Sagan and Basso to lead the team
The squad leaves for Liège tomorrow with a clear plan
Balanced, experienced and ready to support its leaders: these are the key qualities of the line-up selected by Liquigas-Cannondale for the Tour de France. The race opens on Saturday in Liège with a 6.4 km prologue and finishes in Paris on 22nd July. DS Stefano Zanatta, Mario Scirea and Paolo Slongo will be in charge of the nine green-blue riders.
As everyone knows Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso have been chosen to lead the Liquigas-Cannondale team. The “Shark” is targeting the general classification, the Slovakian champion is hunting down stage wins and our man from Varese has the role of “director”. They are supported by riders with previous experience of the difficulties posed by the Grande Boucle, such as rouleurs Daniel Oss, Kristijan Koren, and Alessandro Vanotti and the climber Sylwester Szmyd. Federico Canuti and Dominik Nerz are on debut and complete the line-up.
«We’ve got a group determined of men for this race who are ready to support their captains’ ambitions. » said Zanatta. «The guys know each other well; many of them have followed similar preparation programmes to help things go smoother during the race. We’ll be on the frontline in this Tour de France to support the ambitions of Nibali and Sagan, and we’re aware of the responsibilities awaiting us. We’re aiming for the top of the general classification and will support Vincenzo all the way to the last stage, plus we’ll strive to put Peter in the best possible position to win at least one stage. In his case it’s right to be ambitious but we’ll be mindful of the difficulties and pressures involved in a race like the Tour: the aim is to get a win and anything after that is a bonus. And finally Basso’s role will be essential for Nibali in the tougher stages and for managing the more intense phases of the race. His experience and charisma will be fundamental for helping the team when the pressure hots up. »