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WorldTour squads name six-man teams
With the debut of the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships just three days away, teams are making their final choices for the six-man squads which will contest the 53.2km test.
Nearly all of the squads have been made public, with favourites Omega Pharma-Quickstep having announced their line-up earlier.
Movistar, winners of the Vuelta a España's opening team test in Pamplona, will not come with the same sort of power as used there. Only Jonathan Castroviejo will compete with the Worlds squad. He is joined by Andrey Amador, Iván Gutiérrez, Vladimir Karpets, Vasil Kiryienka and Rubén Plaza for an equally formidable composition.
Rabobank will be the hometown favourites, and with a history of strong team time trial performances, including a second at Tour of Utah, they will be looking for a podium spot.
Lars Boom, Stef Clement, Rick Flens, Robert Gesink, Wilco Kelderman and Luis León Sánchez are expected to take the start, with Tom Leezer as a reserve.
Team director Nico Verhoeven said he knows all six are in good form. "Over the next few days we will focus on mastering technique with this team, so they ride together as a team," he said. Perfecting which order the riders will use and dialling in the details of the course are top on the agenda. "I am confident, a top five is a realistic ambition."
Lotto-Belisol and Lampre-ISD are not as ambitious for the race. The Belgian squad is aiming for a top 10 finish with Lars Bak, Gaetan Bille, Jens Debusschere, Bart De Clercq, Adam Hansen and Jürgen Roelandts.
Lampre will be represented by Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Adriano Malori, Alessandro Petacchi, Daniele Pietropolli and Davide Viganò, with Malori being the key rider. "Adriano is the best rider for leading a team in which there will be quality athletes. We know we can't aim to be at the same level as the top teams, but it will be interesting for us to evaluate our standard," said director Orlando Maini.
Alain Gallopin will lead the RadioShack-Nissan squad from the team car, with his nephew Tony Gallopin, Andreas Klöden, Yaroslav Popovych, Jesse Sergent, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia doing the hard work on the course.
Vacansoleil-DCM has named Lieuwe Westra, Martijn Keizer, Marco Marcato, Gustav Erik Larsson, Tomasz Marczynski and Thomas De Gendt for the event, with Frederik Veuchelen as their reserve, while Euskaltel-Euskadi will field Gorka Verdugo, Mikel Astarloza, Juanjo Oroz, Romain Sicard and brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre.