Barloworld, T-Mobile, and Tinkoff announced their teams for two Swiss races this weekend: the GP Chiasso on March 3 and GP Lugano on March 4.
The two races, which open the Swiss road season, may lack cobbles, but they pack in plenty of energy-sapping climbs along their respective routes. The 174.3 km GP Lugano features two distinct circuits (18.8 km and 15.1 km long) followed by a 25 km finishing stretch that snakes along the shores of Lake Lugano; the GP Chiasso is raced over two distinct circuits (11 km and 15.1 km long) in the same region.
Fresh off the Volta ao Algarve, Barloworld will be resting most of its more experienced racers and giving their younger riders a chance to prove their form. The team considers itself to have had a good start to the season, but it's hungry for a win. It's looking toward talented South African John-Lee Augustyn and Gianpaolo Cheula, whose form has been improving with every race.
Under Alberto Volpi as Director Sportif, Barloworld's roster will include Pedro Arreitunandia, neo-pro John-Lee Augustyn, Diego Caccia, Gianpaolo Cheula, Paolo Longo Borghini, James Perry, Kanstantsin Siutsou, and Mauricio Soler.
Fielding teams in both Belgium and Switzerland this weekend, T-Mobile riders Guerini and Honchar will make their season debut, and Linus Gerdemann will be there to warm up his legs for Tirreno-Adriatico. Leading the magenta charge through the Italian-speaking Ticino region will be Patrik Sinkewitz and Thomas Ziegler.
"They both showed good form and performed well at the Algarve-Tour. The Ticino parcours should suit them," said Valerio Piva, who will be directing team affairs in Switzerland. He is hoping to get his riders off the front in some breakaways.
Eight men will start each race for T-Mobile, with just one personnel change; Scott Davis starts the GP Chiasso, before sitting out Sunday's race where he will be replaced by Linus Gerdemann. "Linus needs to get some good hard races in his legs before he goes to the start of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in ten days time," said Piva of the German stage race specialist.
T-Mobile for GP Chiasso will include Scott Davis, Giuseppe Guerini, Serhiy Honchar, Axel Merckx, Marco Pinotti, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz , Thomas Ziegler.
For Lugano, T-Mobile will race Linus Gerdemann, Giuseppe Guerini, Serhiy Honchar, Axel Merckx, Marco Pinotti, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Thomas Ziegler.
Meanwhile Tinkoff will send two different squads to pair of races. For GP Chiasso, the team will include Salvatore Commesso (Ita), Steffen Weigold (Ger), Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus), Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Ruggero Marzoli (Ita), Pavel Brutt (Rus), Daniele Contrini (Ita), and Sergey Klimov (Rus).
For GP Lugano, the team changes slightly and will consist of Salvatore Commesso (Ita), Ivan Rovny (Rus), Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus), Evgeni Petrov, Ruggero Marzoli (Ita), Pavel Brutt (Rus), Daniele Contrini (Ita), and Sergey Klimov (Rus).