The 2008 Liquigas Cycling Team was introduced at the Savoy Beach Hotel in Bibione, Italy, the city that is also a new sponsor of the team.
“It won’t be easy to produce a repeat performance (of 2007), and we definitely can’t rest on our laurels,” team president Paolo Dal Lago said. “In situations like these, the secret lies in working professionally day after day, setting ourselves ambitious goals and trying to improve on our results and make progress.”
Twenty-two riders return for 2008, joined by seven newcomers. Team manager Roberto Amadio will be assisted by Stefano Zanatta, Mario Scirea, Mario Chiesa and Dario Mariuzzo. New sports director Paolo Slongo will be working with 29 racers from 12 countries.
New captain Daniele Bennati, who won two stages at the Tour de France and three at the Vuelta a España in 2007, will be the one to watch for during the one-day races. He joins established stars Filippo Pozzato, Franco Pellizotti, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Vincenzo Nibali.
Team Liquigas will be making its debut on Australian roads during the Tour Down Under with Valerio Agnoli, Michael Albasini, Kjell Carlström, Mauro Da Dalto, Murilo Antonio Fischer, Vladimir Miholjevic and Ivan Santaromita.
The first Italian race for the squad will be the GP Costa degli Etruschi, in Donoratico, on 9th February. Returning riders: Michael Albasini (SUI), Manuel Beltran Martinez (ESP), Leonardo Bertagnolli (ITA), Kjell Carlström (FIN), Dario Cataldo (ITA), Francesco Chicchi (ITA), Mauro Da Dalto (ITA), Antonio Fischer Murilo (BRA), Roman Kreuziger (CZE), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (BLR), Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Matej Mugerli (SLO), Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Andrea Noè (ITA), Franco Pellizotti (ITA), Roberto Petito (ITA), Filippo Pozzato (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Guido Trenti (ITA), Alessandro Vanotti (ITA), Charles Wegelius (GBR), Frederik Willems (BEL) New riders: Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Daniele Bennati (ITA), Maciej Bodnar (POL), Claudio Corioni (ITA), Alberto Curtolo (ITA), Enrico Franzoi (ITA), Ivan Santaromita (ITA)
© BikeRadar 2008