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By Andrew Hood
The Navigators are confirmed among 16 teams that will line up for the Tour of Britain, which runs August. 30-September 4.
Other top teams confirmed to start include T-Mobile, Mr. Bookmaker, Comunidad Valenciana, Barloworld, Chocolade Jacques and Landbouwkrediet-Colnago.
According to race officials, Navigators team manager Ed Beamon was impressed by the status of last year’s event and signed up for this year’s tour with the intention of stamping their authority on the six-stage race.
One rider who will be hoping for success is Irish-born Ciaran Power. The leading Irish rider has won two races in his homeland this year and hopes to push his success onto the roads of Scotland and England.
Power will be supported by a lineup that includes Italian Siro Camponogara; 25-year-old American Shawn Milne, who won two stages in this year’s Nature Valley GP in America; and Hilton Clarke, Oleg Grichkine and Phil Zajicek.
The second edition of the revived Tour of Britain starts in Glasgow on August 30 and passes through the regions of North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands, before rolling into Birmingham and ending in London right in the heart of Westminster on September 4.
Navigators for the Tour of Britain:
Siro Campongara (I)
Hilton Clarke (Aus)
Oleg Grichkine (Rus)
Shawn Milne (USA)
Ciaran Power (Irl)
Phil Zajicek (USA)
Stage 1 – Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Stage 2 – Carlisle to Blackpool
Stage 3 – Leeds to Sheffield
Stage 4 – Buxton to Nottingham
Stage 5 – Birmingham
Stage 6 – Westminster, London
Petacchi okay for Benelux
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) will start Wednesday’s Benelux Tour, race organizers confirmed. Petacchi crashed in Sunday’s HEW Cyclassics while coming off the Waseberg climb and broke his little finger.
The Milan-San Remo champion will ride with a splint on his hand, but will not undergo surgery as initially feared. The incident isn’t expected to affect his preparations for the 2005 world road championships in Madrid.
Portal to Illes Balears
Nicolas Portal, 26, will ride with Illes Balears in 2006-07 as the Spanish team increases its French profile with new co-sponsor Caisse d’Epargne.
The French bank is expected to take over the sponsorship of the team and wants more French riders to bolster its international image.
Di Luca racing on home roads
ProTour leader Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi) will be racing in a pair of Italian roads rather than in this week’s ProTour stop, the Tour of Benelux (August 3-10). Instead, Di Luca will start the Città di Camaiore and in the Giro del Lazio. Di Luca’s next ProTour stop is the Clásica San Sebastian in Spain on August 13.
Liquigas-Bianchi for upcoming races:
Tour of Benelux (August 3-10): Gasparotto, Calcagni, Loda, Milesi, Mugerli, Righetto, Sironi, Zanotti.
G.P. Città di Camaiore (August 4): Di Luca, Carlström, Cioni, Da Dalto, Mason, Miholjevic, Miorin, Noè, Pellizotti, Wegelius.
Giro del Lazio (Aug. 6): Di Luca, Carlström, Cioni, Da Dalto, Garzelli, Mason, Miorin, Noè, Pellizotti, Wegelius.
Bettini also eyes Lazio
Olympic gold medalist Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) is also setting his sights on this weekend’s Italian semi-classic
“My condition is good but I still need a little to stay up with the best,” said Bettini, who skipped the Tour de France to reload for the final third of the 2005 season.
“The Giro del Lazio will be an important test. The lineup is truly world-class, with Di Luca, Cunego, Sella, Cancellara, Celestino and Bernucci, it’s going to be an exciting race.”
Quick Step for upcoming races:
Tour of Benelux (Aug. 3-10): Dimitri De Fauw, Kevin De Weert, Ad Engels, Servais Knaven, Kevin Hulsmans, Nick Nuyens, Jurgen Van Goolen, Rik Verbrugghe
G.P. Città di Camaiore (Aug. 4): Paolo Bettini, Davide Bramati, Mads Christensen, Davide Viganò, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Stefano Zanini, Ivan Santaromita
Giro del Lazio (Aug. 6): Paolo Bettini, Davide Bramati, Mads Christensen, Davide Viganò, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Stefano Zanini, Ivan Santaromita
Teams for Giro del Lazio
Acqua & Sapone–Adria Mobil (Nocentini, Hamburger)
Androni Giocattoli–3c Casalinghi (Ferrara, Bailetti)
Ceramicha Flaminia (Martella, Trombetta)
Ceramiche Panaria–Navigare (Sella, Tiralongo)
Domina Vacanze (Celestino, Honchar)
Fassa Bortolo (Bernucci, Cancellara)
Lampre–Caffita (Cunego, Commesso)
Liquigas–Bianchi (Di Luca, Garzelli)
LPR (Konyshev, Tonkov)
Miche (Borghesi, Muto)
Naturino–Sapore Di Mare (Marinangeli, Agnoli)
Quick Step–Innergetic (Bettini, Pozzato, Paolini)
Selle Italia–Colombia (Illiano, Van Hout)
Tenax–Nobili Rubinetterie (Jones, Murro)