Aqua & Sapone's Stefano Garzelli will support the ambitions of teammate Luca Paolini at Saturday's Montepaschi Strade Bianche race before turning his attention to next week's Tirreno-Adriatico.
Paolini will be one of the favourites for the Tuscan dirt road race after a strong start to the season that has included sixth place finishes at Italian events, Trofeo Laigueglia and Giro del Friuli, as well as fourth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend.
"We have a team that can definitely do well in this race. Paolini is in good condition so it is right that the team is built around him," said Aqua & Sapone Sports Director Bruno Cenghialta.
Aqua & Sapone will also use the one-day event as a test for riders vying for a place on the team's final selection for Tirreno-Adriatico. Garzelli finished second behind Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli) at the 2009 edition of the race and will once again lead the squad in the six-stage race.
"From Montepaschi we'll select the last two members of the team that will ride Tirreno, so for us it will be an important assessment of the riders' form," said Cenghialta.
Aqua & Sapone for Montepaschi Strade Bianche (March 6): Luca Paolini, Stefano Garzelli, Dario Andriotto, Paolo Ciavatta, Massimo Codol, Alessandro Donati, Francesco Failli and Andrea Masciarelli.