Liquigas will be without the services of Magnus Backstedt for the classics season, and so the team will be looking for Luca Paolini to fire in this week's Three Days of De Panne and Sunday's Tour of Flanders. After a strong third place in Milan-San Remo, Paolini has proven he's capable of a good result and has settled into his new squad well.
The Italian also took seventh in last weekend's Harelbeke and has shown he's a rider to contend with this spring. Backstedt will be replaced by Alberto Curtolo, who is entering the cauldron of Flemish cycling as a neo-pro - a tough task indeed. The team will be directed by Dario Mariuzzo and is a mixture of youth and experience, although the absence of Backstedt will be felt.
Liquigas' squad for De Panne and Flanders: Michael Albasini, Daniele Colli, Alberto Curtolo, Mauro Da Dalto, Marco Milesi, Luca Paolini, Marco Righetto and Stefano Zanini. Directeur sportif: Dario Mariuzzo