Caisse d'Epargne has confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will ride in Paris-Nice, which starts this Sunday. The squad directed by Eusebio Unzué will therefore include two riders that have the full potential of winning the stage race: 2009 victor Luis León Sánchez and Valverde, who already won the Tour Méditerranéen this year.
Sánchez, who will ride with the dossard one in his bid to defend his title, doesn't only have to fight against the likes of Alberto Contador (Astana), Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) or Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), but may also encounter some rivalry with his own teammate. Still, this doesn’t seem to worry the squad's management:
"I don't know yet who will be the designated leader," said directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois. "It will depend on the riders' state of form at the start, and on how the race will unfold during the first days. What's for sure is that both are able to win this race on paper, and that there will be no problems between them because they have a very good relationship."
Valverde will be making his return to the cold French weather conditions he fled after his victory in the Tour Med by skipping the Tour du Hat Var. Sánchez is also in good form after having already won stages in the Tour Down Under and the Volta ao Algarve. He finished second overall in both events.
Caisse d'Epargne has confirmed the following line-up for Paris-Nice: Juan José Cobo, José Vicente García Acosta, Iván Gutiérrez, David López, Luis Pasamontes, Mathieu Perget, Luis León Sánchez, Alejandro Valverde.