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Tour of California Preview: Liquigas

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Francesco Chicchi has won in America before. Can he do it again?
Francesco Chicchi has won in America before. Can he do it again?

This year, Liquigas was faced with quite the dilemma, as the Italian squad was forced to choose between its home race, the Giro d’ Italia, and the Tour of California, which coincide with each other this year for the first time ever. Obviously, the Italians had to represent on their home turf, so we will be seeing somewhat of the “B” team in California this year. Watch for Italian Francesco Chicchi to try and grab a few stage wins. While he has trouble in the mountains, any day for the sprinters could be Chicchi’s day. With stage wins at the Tour of Missouri, Tour Down Under, Tour of Qatar, and Tirreno-Adriatico, he has proven that he is capable of getting big wins in major stage races, although a grand tour victory has still eluded him. Chicchi will be going head to head with the best sprinters in the world, battling with the likes of Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) and Tom Boonen (Quick-Step), but if the stars align, Liquigas may be able to get stage wins in Italy and California this year. Young Peter Sagan has also caught our eye recently. After winning two stages and taking the points jersey at this year’s Paris-Nice, the relatively unknown Slovenian Slovakian rider gained himself some notoriety among the pro peloton. At just twenty years old, he still has quite a bit to learn about riding in ProTour stage races, but if the Liquigas management decides to give him a chance to shine, Sagan could quickly make a name for himself in California. Don’t expect any big moves from Liquigas in California this year. While normally a strong ProTour team, their roster is just spread too thin between the Giro and California, and it’s clear that they have put their focus on their home race in Italy this year.

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katko
katko
12 years ago

Peter Sagan comes from Slovakia and not from Slovenia! 😉

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