Liquigas-Cannondale set to attack the Tour de Suisse with Sagan, Viviani, Moser and Oss
New USA champion Duggan also selected. Time trial opener in Lugano on Saturday
Prepared, young, motivated and fit. This is the Liquigas-Cannondale team selected to tackle the 2012 Tour de Suisse, the nine-stage race that opens with a 7.3-km time trial on Saturday. Led by DS Alberto Volpi and Dario Mariuzzo, the line-up includes Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani, Moreno Moser, Daniel Oss, Timmy Duggan (racing for the first time in his new USA champion’s jersey), Stefano Agostini, Tiziano Dall’Antonia and Ted King.
«This is a consistent, quality team that we are confident will produce some stage wins. » explained Volpi, «We’ve got riders who are used to winning, like Sagan and Viviani, and others who have shown terrific skills, like Moser. Oss is a rider who can make his mark in the mixed stages, while Duggan is the fittest man on the team. Agostini, Dall’Antonia and King are invaluable as they can play a dual role taking action when necessary and providing support. So it seems everything’s in place for us to be a main contender in the Tour de Suisse. »
The directeurs sportifs and riders all share the same motivation. Peter Sagan, who took a record-breaking five wins in the Tour of California and has just got back from mountain training at Passo San Pellegrino, is enthusiastic about racing in Switzerland, «I feel good and the victories in the USA gave me great peace of mind. My goal is to work towards the Tour de France: the climbs will help test stamina and improve race rhythm, and the other stages may be a chance for a morale-boosting win. My training in the mountains focused specifically on improving my power and then my intensity: from Saturday I’ll be trying to fine-tune my condition so I can go to France feeling as fit as possible. »
Italian sprinter Elia Viviani has the same drive but is looking further into the future. After two months away from racing following his accident at the Track World Championships and a period of well-earned rest, Viviani is preparing for his final sprint on the road to London. «I’ve got time to get into top condition and get some positive feedback and results between now and July. The Tour de Suisse is the first, big step. I can’t wait to return to racing and if the Olympic Games are the main objective then every race between now and then will be a chance to improve and increase my score this season. »