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Lampre and Davitamon ready for Tour de France

By:
Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Published:
June 23, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:17 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for June 23, 2006
Race:
Tour de France

Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni, in accordance with team's sport directors, has named his squad...

Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni, in accordance with team's sport directors, has named his squad to take part in the 93rd Tour de France: Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, Marzio Bruseghin, Salvatore Commesso (waiting for medical visit after an accident during training), Daniele Righi, Paolo Tiralongo, Tadej Valjavec and Patxi Vila Errandonea. The reserves are Claudio Corioni and Matteo Carrara.

"We will go to France with a good team," commented Saronni. "Cunego will face this particular race for the first time; Bennati could use his speed and quality to fight in the sprints and to compete for the green jersey. We have Valjavec for the overall standing and all the other athletes for stage victories."

Cunego, who could not quite live up to the expectations laid upon him at this year's Giro, eyes the last part of the Tour de France to try and make up for it. "I'm curious about discovering the Tour," Cunego said. "I will race in France without aiming for the overall classification, but I will try to learn and have full energy during the last week in order to be a protagonist in some stages."

Belgian outfit Davitamon-Lotto has also lifted the secret on its Tour de France line-up. The team leaders, Australians Cadel Evans and Robbie McEwen, will be joined by Mario Aerts, Christophe Brandt, Chris Horner, Fred Rodriguez, Gert Steegmans, Wim Vansevenant and Johan Vansummeren.

With these riders, the team wants to continue its success of last year. The first goal is an early stage victory with sprinter McEwen, who is one of the favourites for the green jersey. "This first and fast stage victory is of course very important for the overall confidence inside the team," Davitamon-Lotto announced. "Fred Rodriguez will again be the last man to lead out Robbie, supported by Gert Steegmans."

The second Australian in the team, Cadel Evans, will be the man to watch in the mountains. "With Cadel Evans we have a leader for the overall classification, who is more and more self-confident. After his eighth placing in his first Tour, he has all the reason to believe in a top five spot. Chris Horner will be at his side in the mountain stages."

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