Stefano Garzelli and Luca Paolini will lead the Liquigas squad for the Amstel Gold Race next Sunday, April 16. As planned, 2005 winner Danilo Di Luca won't start. He will begin his northern campaign at Flèche Wallonne next Wednesday and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Luca Paolini, who was unlucky at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, is approaching the Amstel Gold Race hoping that things will tip in his favour in Limburg. "I'm definitely aiming at succeeding at the Amstel, because the squad at Flèche and Liège will count mainly on Garzelli and Di Luca. That's alright. Anyway, I'm in shape. I've already felt good at the Ronde and, in the last days, I tried to keep in form in order to feel even better. I spent two days in Salsomaggiore, where some riders of the team were taking part in a training camp: under the guidance of Mario Scirea, I did a couple of very hard workouts."
General manager Roberto Amadio pointed out that, "Luca, and the whole team in general, did their duty fully. The results haven't come yet because of a little bit of bad luck and, of course, the great opponents we met. I'm sure that our turn will arrive soon."
Stefano Garzelli, who performed well in the Vuelta al Paìs Vasco, approaches the Amstel Gold Race with enthusiasm too. The week will be very busy for him: Liquigas expects the 32-year-old rider from Varese to be in the limelight, especially in the upcoming classics in the Walloon region.
Vincenzo Nibali is one to look for too. This year, he has already won a stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and he's said to be in excellent form. Besides Paolini, Garzelli and Nibali, the Liquigas squad for the Amstel Gold Race will include: Michael Albasini, Patrick Calcagni, Kjell Carlström, Nicola Loda, and Matej Mugerli. Directeur sportif: Stefano Zanatta.
Liquigas has also received a sponsorship boost from Primagaz Belgium, which joins the other companies of the SHV Group, Liquigas and Primagaz France, in supporting the cycling team. The team jersey will include the Primagaz brand in all the races taking place in Belgium and Holland, included the first four days of the Giro d'Italia.