This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Vacansoleil-DCM is sending a mixed team to the Giro d'Italia – nine riders from eight countries, and a combination of talents for all aspects of the first Grand Tour of the 2012 season. The Dutch team's aim is to win a stage this year, its second appearance in the Italian race.
The line-up announced Tuesday is: Martijn Keizer (The Netherlands), Thomas De Gendt (Belgium), Mirko Selvaggi, Matteo Carrara (Italy), Stefan Denifl (Austria), Tomasz Marczynski (Poland), Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan), Gustav-Erik Larsson (Sweden) and Romain Feillu (France).
“Early in the year we spoke with riders about aiming on the Giro. This means that those riders had a long time to prepare,” said sport director Jean-Paul van Poppel.
“The current selection seems well balanced and ready for the adventure. We have got a sprinter, time trial specialists, climbers and possible general classification riders. A real team to go for a stage win which is hopefully able to continue the growth the team showed in 2012 stage races.”
Marczynski, who is also Polish national champion for both the road and time trial, will be the only one on the team making his Grand Tour debut. Larsson won the closing time trial of the 2010 Giro whilst with Team Saxo Bank.
The team's only Danish rider, Martin Mortensen, who had hoped to ride in the race which starts it his homeland, is the team's first reserve rider. “The decision for the last spot was very hard and it is a pity for Martin that he is not there. He knows our reasons and took the loss like a sportsman,” said van Poppel.