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Liquigas-Doimo heads to the 64th Vuelta a España with a strong team and even stronger ambitions.
Led by GC threats Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger, Liquigas will start the Spanish tour with high hopes for a shot at overall victory as well as stage victories with the likes of Daniele Bennati and Manuel Quinziato.
“We like to confront the important races of the season at the top of our capabilities,” said team manager Roberto Amadio. “In the Giro and the Tour, we fought in the front line to conquer both stages and leading GC placements. This philosophy brought us much satisfaction. We want to face the Vuelta with the same conviction.”
The Italian team will be looking to put Bennati back in winning form in the sprints and then protect Basso in a run for the overall.
Basso rode to fifth in this year’s Giro in his first major grand tour since after returning from his ban for admitting to being part of the Operación Puerto blood-doping ring.
Basso skipped the Tour de France and is hoping to finish at least on the top-3 podium when the Vuelta ends Sept. 20 in Madrid.
“The line-up is assorted and well balanced and allow us to think to general ranking and single victory. First week is good for sprinters and so for Bennati. He will have the support of Quinziato, Sabatini and Bodnar, a precious help in the last kilometers of the flat stages,” said sport director Stefano Zanneti. “From second week, the route will begin to go up and the fight for general ranking will start. Basso faced a training period that allow him to cherish the dream to win it. The Giro was the first important engagement after his return, now Ivan has the chance to continue along this way. The help of Szmyd, Carlström and Zaugg will be capital, like the support of Kreuziger. At the Tour, Roman showed a good condition. In Spain he will find a useful ground to grow again, helping Ivan and searching an exploit: the ideal work to refine the leg in view of Mendrisio World Championship.”
Liquigas for Vuelta a España