The Liquigas squad will head into the weekend's races, the Trofeo Melinda and GP Ouest France de Plouay, with its team leaders who are looking to tune up their form for the season's last objective - the world championships in Varese. Franco Pellizotti, who recently returned from the Olympic Games, will represent the team in both races, while Filippo Pozzato will focus on the race in France.
"The form is good, I need only to recover the spark lost after the return from Beijing," said Pellizotti. "I know the Melinda very well, and I like it, it's challenging but adapted for my strengths: I really hope to ride well." He will use the races to convince national selector Franco Ballerini that he deserves a spot on Italy's team for the World Championships in September.
He will be joined in Trentino for the Trofeo Melinda by Leonardo Bertagnolli, who took second places in the Tre Valli Varesine and Coppa Agostoni.
Liquigas for Trofeo Melinda: Franco Pellizotti, Leonardo Bertagnolli, Valerio Agnoli, Dario Cataldo, Vladimir Miholjevic, Andrea Noè, Goradz Stangelj and Charles Wegelius.
Pozzato will look to repeat the performance of his young team-mate Vincenzo Nibali, who won the GP Plouay in 2006. After a three weeks training camp in the mountains, he said his form is coming good. "I've little problems in breathing because of the training but I don't think it will be a problem in next few days. The form is good and I really want a victory," Pozzato said.
He is also seeking a position on the Italian squad for the worlds. "It's my first goal. I'm working hard to be ready."
Liquigas for GP Ouest France - Plouay: Filippo Pozzato, Dario Cataldo, Andrea Noè, Kjell Carlström, Murilo Fischer, Aliaksandr Kuchynski and Alessandro Vanotti.
Lampre's Damiano Cunego has recovered from his crash at the Tour de France, and showed his form is coming good with a third place at the Tre Valli Varesine this week. He will be joined in Plouay by Alessandro Ballan, Marco Bandiera, Francesco Gavazzi, Mirco Lorenzetto, Marco Marzano, Massimiliano Mori and Paolo Tiralongo.
Milram will rely on Bayern-Rundfahrt winner Christian Knees to captain its team for the 229.2 kilometre long GP Ouest France - Plouay. "Such middle-difficulty races are difficult to predict and always good for a surprise winner," said Knees. "After my long break from racing it will be a good test for me so soon before the Deutschland Tour."
Milram for Plouay: Martin Müller, Ralf Grabsch, Christian Kux, Alberto Ongarato, Sergio Ghisalberti, Peter Velits and Volodymyr Diudia.
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