Backstedt to sign with LiquigasClose
Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt looks almost certain to join the new Liquigas team in 2005.PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE According to procycling sources, Swedish Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt will be joining the Italian Liquigas team that is making a return to professional cycling next year after four years' absence. Neither Backstedt nor his manager Rolf Sorensen will confirm the name of the team involved in the deal, but admit that Backstedt is 99 per cent certain to sign a two-year deal "with a new team", as Rolf Sorensen put it. Procycling has learned that this new team is Liquigas, who have already signed Dario Cioni and are known to be interested in Stefano Garzelli. Backstedt, who's currently riding for Alessio-Bianchi, had a super spring when he finished second in Ghent-Wevelgem and then moved on to win 'the Hell of the North'. These results have obviously made him an attractive rider, and the Wales-based Swede has had several offers from top teams but is apparantly opting for the returning Italian squad. The big Swede is currently riding the Tour of Denmark with the aim of taking a stage win after he had to drop out of the Tour de France due to back problems.