Nibali and Sagan to lead Liquigas-Cannondale in the Tour of California
13th – 20th May. Also Oss returns to the line-up
One eyes on the climbs and one on the sprints: Liquigas-Cannondale is ready to start the Tour of California tomorrow, Sunday 13th May (eighth and final stage on 20th May), with two outstanding names like Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan. Thanks to another six support riders, the green-blue team has got this race covered from every angle: Daniel Oss, Americans Ted King and Timmy Duggan, Mauro Da Dalto, Kristijan Koren and Alessandro Vanotti. Providing the direction will be directeurs sportifs Dario Mariuzzo and Paolo Slongo.
«The Tour of California is an important race and it deserves our best shot. » said Nibali «I’ve got some good memories of the last time I raced here in 2009. I’m back this year with the desire to do well and the knowledge I’ve got what it takes to succeed. It wouldn’t be right to make any predictions because the competition is strong, particularly the American riders, but I’m definitely not here just for the ride. We got here ten days before the start so we could have a mini training camp in the mountains. We’ve acclimatised and regained our confidence with our racing rhythm. Now we just need to get started and do our best to get the best possible result. »
The “California” marks Slovakian champion Sagan’s return to the group following the Classics. «I hope I won’t suffer too much because it’s a fast paced race. » Peter explained. «The spring calendar had been demanding up to now so I needed a break. I’ve relaxed and reenergized and now want to get back to racing and start my preparations for the Tour de France. The terrain here in the States is right for a win and it’s always brought me luck in the past: two wins in my first year as a pro, in 2010, and one last year. It would be a shame to break this run … ».
«We’ve got the team and it aims to be a main contender. » explained DS Mariuzzo. «Our preparations at Lake Tahoe were very useful because everyone needed the practice. Of course we can think big with Nibali and Sagan in the line-up but we mustn’t forget that the Tour of California has a demanding parcours and lots of champions in the race. Success won’t come easy: we’ll have to have 100% concentration every day and be hungry for victory. »