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Liv-Plantur announce Giro d'Italia Femminile team

Team Liv-Plantur have announced a six-rider team for the 2016 Giro d'Italia Femminile with the ambition of contesting stage wins, starting with the July 1 prologue in Gaiarine. 

"This year's 27th edition is very tough with a lot of climbing added to the course. We have one main goal and that is to go for stage results. The general classification is not a specific focus for us," coach Hans Timmermans said.

The international team features Canadian Leah Kirchmann, Dutch trio Riejanne Markus, Rozanne Slik, Julia Soek, Australian Carlee Taylor and Brit Molly Weaver.

Kirchmann has taken Liv-Plantur's sole win so far in 2016 when sprinted to victory in the Drentse Acht van Westerveld.

Starting with the prologue, the following nine-stages total 854km in length with the peloton staying in the north of Italy, concluding with a 102.8km stage in Verbania, 104.8km. Across the road stages, and stage 7 21.9km time trial, the Liv-Plantur squad is prepared to challenge for wins across a variety of terrains.

"For Leah it will be the first big stage race at the Giro Rosa so it will be a great experience for her. She is in good form at the moment after taking the bronze medal at the Canadian Road Race. The plan will be to set Leah up for the sprint finishes when the race comes back together and we have a reliable team supporting her capable of getting her in the best possible position in the finale," added Timmermans.

"On top of that we have strong options, for example with Carlee and Rozanne who are good climbers and can join a break during the mountain stages and aim for a stage success."

The Giro Rosa is the longest race in the Women's WorldTour, and fourth and final stage race of the inaugural 2016 season.

Liv-Plantur for the 2016 Giro Rosa: Leah Kirchmann (Can), Riejanne Markus (Ned), Rozanne Slik (Ned), Julia Soek (Ned), Carlee Taylor (Aus) and Molly Weaver (GBr).

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