The best sprinters in the world will gather for the start of the 298km Milano-Sanremo in Milano on Saturday. After about seven hours, the race will enter its decisive phase on the Poggio, and the outcome could be decided among sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Alessandro Petacchi, Thor Hushovd and Daniele Bennati. Barloworld hopes to have a rider among them and impress organisers in the hope that it might help the team earn a spot racing the Giro d'Italia.
"It is vital for the team to perform at this race as two of the three wild cards chosen will be selected and invited to ride at the Giro d'Italia," said Chris Fisher, head of corporate marketing for Barloworld. "This is our last opportunity to show those concerned that we should be at the Giro d'Italia."
The Milano-Sanremo start list includes three wildcards: Team Barloworld, Ceramica Flaminia Bossini Docce and Fuji-Servetto.
Barloworld is sending sprinter Robbie Hunter, who has ridden Milano-Sanremo numerous times and has often been a contender until the end. Hunter will be joined by Diego Caccia, Patrick Calcagni, Felix Cardenas, Giampaolo Cheula, Marco Corti, Carlo Scognamiglio and Paolo Longo Borghini, all under the direction of Alberto Volpi.
Barloworld has been trying to gain an invitation to the Giro d'Italia since the start of the season.