Lampre-Fondital has chosen all but one of its nine-man Tour de France squad, a team press release announced today. Directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi said that the team directors and general manager Giuseppe Saronni, "chose riders of quality with great morale."
The team, according to Bontempi, will focus on stage wins, and will count on sprinters Daniele Bennati - winner of the sprinter's jersey at the Tour de Suisse, and Danilo Napolitano - a stage winner at the Tour of Slovenia for the flat stages, and Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan for the transitional stages and Tadej Valjavec in the mountains.
Lampre: Daniele Bennati, Paolo Bossoni, Marzio Bruseghin, Danilo Napolitano, Daniele Righi, Patxi Vila and Tadej Valjavec. The final slot to be decided among Fabio Baldato, Claudio Corioni and Massimiliano Mori.
Another team in the hunt for stage wins will be the Saunier Duval-Prodir squad. Directors Joxean Fernández Matxin and Sabino Angoitia will be looking to David Millar for the prologue, Iban Mayo for the hills, last year's Tour de France most combative rider David de la Fuente for breakaways, and Francisco Ventoso for the sprints.
Saunier Duval-Prodir: José Ángel Gómez Marchante, David Millar, Iban Mayo, David de la Fuente, Juanjo Cobo, Iker Camaño, Rubén Lobato, Christophe Rinero and Francisco Ventoso. The reserves will be David Cañada, Ángel Litu Gómez and Jesús del Nero.
German squad Gerolsteiner has announced six riders that will take to the start of the Tour on July 7, in support of its GC hopes Markus Fothen and Bernhard Kohl.
Along side its two leaders, the squad will send Fabian Wegmann and Stefan Schumacher, with both riders expected to go for stage wins, along with Heinrich Haussler, stage winner in the recent Dauphiné Libéré and Robert Förster who are the teams hopes for the sprint stages.
The final three places for the squad are expected to be announced after the weekend´s national title road race.