The Liquigas team sent two separate squads to sunnier climes to compete in the first races of the 2009 season on Sunday. The team's new leader, Ivan Basso, headed to Argentina for the Tour de San Luis, while another squad led by Francesco Chicchi headed to Australia for the Tour Down Under.
Basso said he was heading to Buenos Aires, "to work hard and come back in better form. January is a good month for training and not to seek a good result."
Vincenzo Nibali joined Basso along with Kjell Carlström, Murilo Antonio Fischer, the new hired Brian Bach Vandborg and Alessandro Vanotti. The group, led by DS Mario Scirea, will adjust to the warm weather and new time zone for a week before the race commences on January 19.
Six riders headed to Australia with Chicchi: Neoprofessionals Gianni Da Ros and Jacopo Guarnieri, Maciej Bodnar, Claudio Corioni, Aliaksandr Kuchynski and Frederik Willems. The group will be led by DS Dario Mariuzzo.