Ted King and Tim Duggan better begin Italian lessons if they haven’t already, because Liquigas boss Roberto Amadio said he expects his new American recruits to be very busy next season.
King is set to join the Italian outfit following two solid seasons with Cervélo, which is folding at the end of this season. Duggan moves across from Garmin-Transitions, where he’s raced since turning pro in 2005.
“We saw during the Giro that Ted was a capable rider to help the team in a long tour and Duggan also has a big capacity to help,” Amadio told VeloNews. “We will see how the calendar will shape up for next year. The Giro is very important for our team, but so is the Tour of California, so I can expect both of them will see a lot of racing days next year.”
King and Duggan are part of a new wave of international riders joining the Italian-back Liquigas squad for 2011. Both are the first Americans signed in the team’s history.
With Cannondale stepping up as team co-sponsor next year, Amadio said the bike manufacturer asked the squad to add some international flavor to the roster to widen its appeal beyond the Italian borders.
Also signing on Dominik Nerz, a young German rider from Milram, and Cameron Wurf, who rode this year with Androni-Diquigiovanni.
“Cannondale asked us to increase our international profile, so we found some new riders who were very appealing to us,” Amadio continued. “These riders will fit nicely into our team.”
Amadio said Liquigas hopes to continue with the momentum the team enjoyed in 2010, winning both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
“All that’s left for us now is the Tour,” he said. “We will continue to focus on stage races, though we can be competitive in all races because that’s important to the philosophy of the team. All the riders will have opportunities to race. The calendar will be decided in the coming weeks, once we’ve seen the route of the Giro and Vuelta.”