Lampre announces nine Tour men

World Champ Ballan heads Italian team

Lampre-NGC has confirmed its nine men for the Tour de France, with the Italian squad to be headed by world champion Alessandro Ballan and classification rider Marzio Bruseghin.

The complete team includes Italian riders Ballan, Bruseghin, Marco Bandiera, Angelo Furlan, David Loosli, Daniele Righi, Mauro Santambrogio, plus Poland's Marcin Sapa and Slovenia's Simon Spilak. Directeurs sportif for the Tour will be Fabrizio Bontempi and Maurizio Piovani.

"Above all, it will be important to win a stage, which is not easy at the Tour de France," Piovani told Cyclingnews.

The team will also help Bruseghin in the overall classification; Piovani explained that if Bruseghin could emulate the 10th place he achieved at the Giro d'Italia last month then the Tour would be a success.

"Furlan will try in the sprints even if it seems impossible to battle Mark Cavendish. But every sprint is different and there is always a chance."

The race departs Saturday in Monaco and finishes July 26 in Paris.

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