Danish team without top stars in Italy, French with two captains
As the days countdown to the start of the Giro d'Italia in Amsterdam on Saturday May 8, teams continue to name their squads, revealing their strategies for the Corsa Rosa.
Saxo Bank is not sending its top stars such as Andy and Fränk Schleck or Fabian Cancellara to the Giro d'Italia, preferring to hold them back for the Tour de France. But the Danish team will be represented by the Olympic and World runner-up time trial champion Gustav Larsson and two sprinters. French Team Cofidis is going with two leaders, one for the mountains and one for the sprints.
Larsson, who won silver in both the Beijing Olympic time trial and in the World's last year, in both cases behind teammate Fabian Cancellara, will look to do well in the opening time trail in Amsterdam and in the final 15km time trial in Verona.
For the sprint finishes, Saxo Bank will have experienced Australian Baden Cooke, who won a stage in the 2003 Tour de France on his way to winning the green jersey, and Argentina's Lucas Sebastian Haedo, who will be taking on his first Grand Tour.
In the mountains, the team will look to Chris Anker Sorensen to take stage wins Allrounders Laurent Didier, Riche Porte, Anders Lund and Nicki Sorensen, who won a stage at last year's Tour de France, fill out the team. Also there will be Michael Mørkøv, who along with teammate Alex Rasmussen won the world track titles in Madison and team pursuit in 2009.
Cofidis will be led by David Moncoutie and Leonardo Duque. Moncoutie, 34, has won the climber's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana for the last two years ans has won two stages at both the Vuelta and the Tour de France. Moncoutie, who finished third overall in the recent Presidential Tour of Turkey, will surprisingly be riding the Giro for the first time in his career.
Colombian sprinter Duque has won in the Cholet-Pays de Loire race and finished second in the Tour du Finistere this year. He previously rode the Giro in 2006.
The two captains will be supported by Guillaume Blot, Mickaël Buffaz, Remi Cusin, Julien Fouchard, Tristan Valentin (all French), Nico Sijmens (Belgium) and Kalle Kriit (Estonia).
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