Riccardo Riccò will make his debut with his new Vacansoleil squad, at the Giro della Romagna one-day race in Italy on Sunday. The 27-year-old ended his contract with the Ceramica-Flaminia squad last month in order to ink a two-year deal with the Dutch team.
He will be joined by fellow Italians Matteo Carrara, Alberto Ongarato and Marco Marcato for the 211.7km-long circuit around the towns of Lugo and Faenza Also on the roster will be Uzbek Sergey Lagutin, Slovenian Borut Bozic and Pole and Michal Golas.
Riccò made his return to the sport this March with Ceramica-Flaminia following his 20-month ban for doping during the 2008 Tour de France. He was one of the first riders to test positive for the blood-boosting drug CERA, a third generation form of Erythropoietin. Riccò won the Tour of Austria in July, despite suffering nasty injuries after hitting a motorbike. However he missed the Giro d'Italia after race director Angelo Zomegnan refused to invite the Ceramica Flaminia team.
Vacansoleil will also field a team for the 44th GP Jef Scherens on Sunday, but will be without the services of 2008 winner Wouter Mol, who is out sick. Belgians Frederik Veuchelen, Gorik Gardeyn and Björn Leukemans will join their Dutch teammates Johnny Hoogerland, Rob Ruygh, Joost van Leijen and Lieuwe Westra along with Dane Martin Mortensen in the hilly 183km event.
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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