By Ben Atkins
The Organisers of the Tour of Britain have announced that the 16th team to ride this year's race will be the LPR Brakes-Ballan squad of Alessandro Petacchi and Danilo Di Luca. It is expected that both of the Italian stars will be at the start in London on September 7.
"I'm pleased to be able to welcome LPR to The Tour of Britain," said event technical director Mick Bennett. "I'm sure that their inclusion will benefit the race, as both Petacchi and Di Luca are more than capable of winning stages and possibly the overall too."
As well as Di Luca – the winner of the 2007 Giro d'Italia – starting the race as one of the outstanding, Bennett is looking forward to the prospect of a battle between two of the best sprinters in the world. "Like everyone else I'm also excited by the prospect of seeing Alessandro Petacchi going head-to-head with Mark Cavendish in the sprints," said Bennett. "[That] should make each day's stage finish unmissable.
"Having LPR ride The Tour of Britain adds to what was already a great line-up of teams and riders, which I'm sure will make this year's race the best yet," he added.
The LPR Brakes-Ballan team's provisional line-up for the Tour of Britain is: Alessandro Petacchi, Danilo Di Luca, Claudio Cucinotta, Roberto Ferrari, Alessandro Maserati and Alessandro Spezialetti.