Italian team Lampre is looking forward to the Tour de Suisse, taking place from June 14-22, as ultimate test for Tour de France hopeful Damiano Cunego. The Italian climber will be the team's captain in the Swiss event as well as in France in a few weeks, accompanied by Lampre's other big names such as Alessandro Ballan and Danilo Napolitano.
"The Tour de Suisse is the ultimate race to test one's condition for the Tour de France," team director Maurizio Piovani said. "Cunego will be there with exactly that objective. With him, there will be most of the riders that will accompany him in the Tour. It will be interesting to see the form of Ballan, who already worked hard in the Volta a Catalunya, as well as the fitness of Napolitano for the bunch sprints."
The full Lampre roster for the Tour de Suisse will be: Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Ballan, Matteo Bono, David Loosli, Marco Marzano, Massimiliano Mori, Danilo Napolitano and Paolo Tiralongo.
In the upcoming Tour de Suisse, Team Astana will be led by Andreas Klöden, who has recovered from the illness which forced him out of the Giro d'Italia's penultimate stage.
"Andreas feels okay again," Astana spokesman Philippe Maertens told Cyclingnews. "In theory he will be the leader of the team, but he has no idea about his condition. Normally it will not be that bad. We will know more after the first stages."
The German will be supported by an international team of a Russian, two Swiss riders and four Kazakhstanis. The full line-up lists as follows: Maxim Iglinskiy, Sergey Ivanov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Mizurov, Steve Morabito, Dmitriy Muravyev, Gregory Rast and Sergey Yakovlev.
Team Milram will look to Christian Knees and Erik Zabel to lead the team in the Tour de Suisse. Knees, who recently won the overall title in the Bayern Rundfahrt will be the team's GC candidate, while Zabel will look to the sprint finishes.
Like the other teams, Milram is using the race to not only polish off its form for the upcoming Tour de France, but also to help make the final line-up selections. "The Tour de Suisse is our last test before the biggest season highlight," said team manager Gerry van Gerwen. "We have the basics for our Tour de France team, now we are just filling the last free space. The Dauphiné Libéré and of course the Tour de Suisse are just the right places for our riders to recommend themselves."
Milram for the Tour de Suisse: Christian Knees, Erik Zabel, Martin Müller, Niki Terpstra, Enrico Poitschke, Marco Velo, Matej Jurco and Ralf Grabsch.