After the Challenge de Mallorca, the Tour Mediterranéen and the Tour of California, ProTour team Liquigas returns on home soil. Next-up event is the 44th edition of the Trofeo Laigueglia on February20, 2007.
On the Ligurian roads, Liquigas counts on Filippo Pozzato, who won the event in 2003 and 2004 - but the 2006 Milano-Sanremo winner has been struggling with a stomach bug lately. "Unfortunately, last week I came back from the Challenge de Mallorca with an unpleasant intestinal virus that weakened me," said Pozzato on Monday. "Now, I feel better and my good form is confirmed by the training that I made this morning. Laigueglia is certainly an important appointment: I hope to be one of the protagonists at the race."
In addition to Pozzato, team manager Mario Chiesa will line up Danilo Di Luca and Vincenzo Nibali, supported by Leonardo Bertagnolli, Roman Kreuziger, Andrea Noè, Roberto Petito and Alessandro Spezialetti.
For Pro Conti team La Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Selle Italia, the Trofeo Laigueglia will be the second Italian race this season, in which the Venezuelan-Italian squad already scored ten victories. In the hilly race involving the Ginestro climb (677m) twice on the parcours, the team directed on site by Marco Bellini will be composed of: Santo Anzà, Sergio Barbero, Emiliano Donadello, Fabio Duarte, Gabriele Missaglia, Josè Serpa and Mattia Turrina. Ceramica Flaminia
Italian underdog team Ceramica Flaminia will also participate in the race, lining up the following riders: Wladimir Duma, Antonio D'Aniello, Raffaele Illiano and Domenico Quagliariello (coming straight from the Tour Mediterranéen), as well as Michele Scotto D'Abusco, Hubert Krys, Tomasz Marczinski and Maurizio Varini.
"On hard courses like this one (Laigueglia), we have always been competitive," said the directeurs sportifs Simone Borgheresi and Massimo Podenzana one day before the event. "We think that we'll obtain a good result also this time around."