The start list for the two-man team time trial event known as the Coppa Lella Mentaste in Borgomanero, Italy, reads like a who's who list of male road racers. Reigning Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre is among those scheduled to race. He will team with fellow Team CSC Saxo Bank racer Volodymir Gustav for the fourth edition of the race.
Sastre certainly wasn't considering himself a favorite. "I'm very short on form in recent weeks because I could not train much," he said. "I hope my teammate Gustov can compensate and bear more of the burden."
Fresh off his Saturday victory at the Giro di Lombardia, Damiano Cunego will team up with World Champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre). Other favorite pairings will include last year's winners Vincenzo Nibali - Roman Kreuziker (Liquigas) and Cadel Evans - Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto).
In total, 20 two-man teams are set to start the race against the clock on Sunday morning. Teams will be started at one minute intervals excepting the final six, which will go off every two minutes.
2009 Coppa Lella Mentasti Roster
Marco Bandiera - Andrea Grendene (Lampre)
Fabrice Piemontesi - Fabrizio Reda (NCG Medical)
Giampaolo Cheula - Diego Caccia (Barloworld)
Maurizio Biondo - Adriano Angeloni (Flaminia - Bossini)
Francesco Tomei - Mauro Finetto (CSF Navigare)
Marco Marzano - Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre)
Andrea Tonti - Davide Vigano (Quick Step)
Francesco Ginanni - Santo Anza (Diquigiovanni)
Mauro Santambrogio - Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre)
Marco Velo - Fabio Sabatini (Team Milram)
Luca Paolini - Failli Francesco (Acqua&Sapone)
Gabriele Bosisio- Paolo Bailetti (LPR Ballan)
Leonardo Bertagnolli - Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
Giovanni Visconti - Leonardo Scarselli (Quick Step)
Michael Rogers - Scott Davis (Team Columbia)
Danilo Di Luca - Alessandro Petacchi (LPR)
Cadel Evans - Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto)
Carlos Sastre - Volodymir Gustov (CSC)
Alessandro Ballan - Damiano Cunego (Lampre)
Vincenzo Nibali - Roman Kreuziker (Liquigas)