Liquigas is ready for its first major season goal at the Milano-Sanremo on Saturday. In addition to Filippo Pozzato, who won the 2006 edition of the race, the team is expecting Manuel Quinziato, Franco Pellizotti and Murilo Fischer to play key roles.
"With Pippo, there will be a great squad, which has demonstrated during the Parigi-Nizza and the Tirreno-Adriatico that its condition is excellent," said Liquigas Team Manager Roberto Amadio. "Our strength will be to play different aces during the race. The harder the race, the more Pozzato will have a chance."
"The Tirreno gave me the answers I hoped," said Pozzato. "Even if I did not get the victory I'm serene. It's the demonstration that my condition is ok. Two podium obtained at the Tirreno represent an incentive to get the win ... I hope in the major race ...[on Saturday]." The rider from Vicenza named his three top picks: Fabian Cancellara, Oscar Freire and Phillippe Gilbert.
Meanwhile Lampre director Guido Bontempi was optimistic about his team's chances. "[The] team is competitive and it could be a protagonist in a sprint end or in a tougher race. The athletes are in good shape. [Alessandro] Ballan's condition is increasing - we hope he won't suffer for the fall occurred in San Benedetto; [Danilo] Napolitano and [Mirco] Lorenzetto could be a good alternative to Ballan if the race ends with a sprint. The other athletes are reliable and they will help the leaders in the best way." Bontempi said he was especially interested to see what will happen on the climb Le Manie
Team CSF Group-Navigare's roster will present only one difference from their team of Tirreno-Adriatico. The young Argentinian Mauro Richeze will join his brother Maximiliano - team's big man for the sprint - and so will replace Fortunato Baliani, who's going back to racing with Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale "Coppi e Bartali".
"We're very quiet: we're not to control the race, as other teams are. We'll just try to stay attentive, join the breakaways and keep safe Maximiliano Richeze for the possible sprint, "said CSF's Roberto Reverberi. "Baliani asked us if he could stay home some days, so we decided to replace him with Mauro Richeze, who's been training well since coming back from Malaysia; it's important for him to compete in such an important race already this year, because in the future he may be a protagonist of this race."
Liquigas Team for Milano-Sanremo: Michael Albasini, Kjell Carlström, Claudio Corioni, Murilo Fischer, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Franco Pellizotti, Filippo Pozzato and Manuel Quinziato.
Lampre for Milano-Sanremo: Fabio Baldato, Alessandro Ballan, Marzio Bruseghin, Paolo Bossoni, Mirco Lorenzetto, Danilo Napolitano, Christian Murro and Francisco Javier Vila.
CSF Group-Navigare for Milano-Sanremo: Maximiliano Richeze, Mauro Richeze, Emanuele Sella, Filippo Savini, Francesco Tomei, Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Luis Felipe Laverde Jiménez and Matteo Priamo.