Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Petacchi will lead an experienced Lampre-ISD team at the Tour de France, which gets underway in Liège on Saturday, while there also a place in the line-up for Australia’s Matt Lloyd.
Scarponi finished last month’s Giro d’Italia in fourth place but has not ridden the Tour since 2004, when he raced alongside Mario Cipollini at Domina Vacanze. With almost 100 kilometres of time trialling on the course, the 32-year-old has ruled himself out of mounting a podium challenge, and is instead targeting stage victories and a possible tilt at the mountains classification.
Before lining up at the Tour, however, Scarponi must first negotiate an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hearing on Wednesday, as he has been summoned to Rome to discuss allegations that he has been a client of the infamous doctor Michele Ferrari. The allegations arose due to the Padova-based anti-doping investigation centred on Ferrari’s activities.
Petacchi will lead the line for Lampre-ISD in the sprints, ably abetted by Danilo Hondo and Grega Bole. Petacchi skipped the Giro in order to focus on the accumulation of WorldTour points elsewhere but the Italian has endured a low-key opening to his season.
Petacchi eventually got off the mark with a hat-trick of stage victories at the Bayern-Rundfahrt last month and he will now be looking to repeat his exploits of 2010, when he took two stage wins and the green jersey in Paris. Later that summer, Petacchi was questioned by CONI regarding his implication in the Padova inquiry.
2010 Giro mountains prize winner Matt Lloyd makes the Tour squad after proving his fitness at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He suffered a broken collarbone in March that ruined his chances of riding the Giro but the Australian got the nod for the Tour team.
The Lampre-ISD team is completed by Yuriy Krivstvov, Marco Marzano, Simone Stortoni and Davide Viganò. There is no place in the squad for Damiano Cunego, who has long stated his intention to ride the Vuelta a España as preparation for the world championships.
Lampre-ISD for the Tour de France: Grega Bole, Danilo Hondo, Yuriy Krivtsov, Matthew Lloyd, Marco Marzano, Alessandro Petacchi, Michele Scarponi, Simone Stortoni and Davide Viganò.