Nibali, Blythe and Machado all given key roles
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) who finished third in the Giro d'Italia last year and won the Vuelta a Espana, will ride to win this year's Giro. His Italian team called its line-up, “a captain with eight squires, nine riders with a single objective: the pink jersey.”
"We have selected this line-up in the best possible way,” said directeur sportif Alberto Volpi. “We are motivated and aware of the challenge before us.”
In the mountains, Nibali can look to support from Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Cristiano Salemo, and Sylvester Szmyd. The remaining four teammates – Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini and Alessandro Vanotti, “know their role perfectly and trust in their experience to help Vincenzo in every phase of the race. “
Vacansoleil-DMC is sending riders from seven different countries to its first ever Giro d'Italia. Johnny Hoogerland is the only native rider for the Dutch team, and he will be joined by Borut Bozic (Slovenia), Matteo Carrara (Italy), Alberto Ongarato (Italy), Mirko Selvaggi (Italy), Michal Golas (Poland), Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan), Maxim Belkov (Russia), and Frederik Veuchelen (Belgium).
The team will look to Bozic in the sprints in the first week, and Carrara is the team's man for the mountains and general classification. "I trained at altitude in Colombia and took it easy at Romandie. My ambition is a top-10 spot in the general classification,” he said in a team press release. “A three week race requires a lot of concentration and I am happy that we have this strong and close team to do the Giro with."
Tiago Machado will lead Team RadioShack in Italy. “We believe in Tiago Machado,” said team manager Johan Bruyneel. “Tiago is still young, he has a lot to learn but he proved already in his first year with our team that he has everything in him to perform well in hard stage races. Last year he finished seven out-of-ten times in the overall top ten of a stage race. This year he has never missed the top ten. If he can do the same in this Tour of Italy, we will be happy."
Omega Pharma-Lotto is leaving its big-name stars at home. Andre Greipel is preparing for his first Tour de France, so Adam Blythe will take over the sprint duties for the Belgian team. The 22-year-old, who started but did not finish the Giro in 2010, won two stages of the Circuit Franco-Belge on his way to the overall title last year.
Liquigas-Cannondale for the Giro d'Italia: Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini, Cristiano Salerno,Sylvester Szmyd and Alessandro Vanotti.
Vacansoleil for the Giro d'Italia: Borut Bozic, Matteo Carrara, Alberto Ongarato, Mirko Selvaggi, Michal Golas, Sergey Lagutin, Maxim Belkov, Frederik Veuchelen and Johnny Hoogerland.
RadioShack for the Giro d'Italia: Fumiyuki Beppu, Manuel Cardoso, Philip Deignan, Robbie Hunter, Tiago Machado, Robbie McEwen, Yaroslav Popovych, Ivan Rovny & Bjørn Selander.
Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Giro d'Italia: Jan Bakelants, Adam Blythe, Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Gert Dockx, Olivier Kaisen, Sebastian Lang, Klaas Lodewyck, and Jussi Veikkanen.
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