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Coppa Sabatini shapes up

The start in the stadium

The start in the stadium (Image credit: Sirotti)

The Coppa Sabatini, which is scheduled to run on October 11, has some great names in the line-up. Two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini will be racing as well as his runner-up, Alexandr Kolobnev. Cadel Evans is looking into getting in good condition to contend the ProTour overall, while the Schleck brothers Fränk and Andy are always aggressive in the races. The race will start in Peccioli and cover 197.7 kilometres. The finish is in Valdera, where it has been a tradition to do a few circuits through the downtown area and the town's historic centre.

The highlight of the 55th edition will undoubtedly be the participation of Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step - Innergetic), who recently successfully defended his rainbow jersey. The rider from La California lives only a few minutes by car from the start. Many local fans are expected along the routes. Bettini will have team-mate and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti at his disposal. With Bettini, Kolobnev, Fränk Schleck and Cadel Evans there will be four of the five riders who put the stamp on the Worlds' road race this year. Only Stefan Schumacher is missing.

The race will start at the stadium of Peccioli, the Stadio Comunale. Starting at 9:00 local time riders will be able to sign in and the teams will be presented. The neutral start will be at 11 and proceed through the historic centre of town. In La Tabaccaiaa a 22-kilometre circuit, to be repeated eight times, will be waiting for the riders. They will then proceed to the final circuit, via Bivio into Valdera. There will be two laps in Valdera to complete the race just shy of 200 kilometres.

The teams and some of their major players are Quick.Step-Innergetic (Bettini, Visconti, Matteo Tosatto and Andrea Tonti), Team Milram (Mirko Celestino, Andriy Grivko and Fabio Sacchi), Liquigas (Leonardo Bertagnolli, Enrico Gasparotto, Vincenzo Nibali, Luca Paolini), Lampre Fondital (Alessandro Ballan), CSC (Kolobnev, Andy and Fränk Schleck ), Saunier Duval - Prodir (Riccardo Riccò, Manuele Mori), Astana (Yakovlev), Predictor Lotto (Evans, Dario Cioni, Stefano Zanini), Team Barloworld (Félix Rafael Cárdenas, Kanstantsin Siutsou), Acqua & Sapone (Andrei Kunitski, Stefano Garzelli, Massimo Codol), LPR (Raffaele Ferrara, Daniele Nardello), Ceramica Flaminia (Mikhaylo Khalilov, Manuele Spadi), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni (Alessandro Bertolini, Santo Anza), Tinkoff (Salvatore Commesso, Mikhail Ignatiev), OTC Doors Lauretana (Vladimyr Zagorodny), Miche (Przemyslaw Niemec, Krzysztof Szczawinski), Kio Ene (Maurizio Biondo), Universal Caffè (Daniele Di Nucci).

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