American Ted King, who is joining Liquigas-Cannondale for 2011, is looking forward to doing a few more U.S. races than in recent years, likely including the Tour of California.
King announced last week that he is joining the renamed team, which is emphasizing a more international roster and schedule as Cannondale steps up to co-sponsor status. Besides King, American Timmy Duggan has signed on.
King has raced for Cervelo TestTeam for two seasons; that squad is shutting down at the end of this season, with a handful of riders joining Garmin-Cervelo for 2011.
King has completed two Tours of Italy for Cervelo, but may skip the Italian race — where Liquigas’ Ivan Basso will be the defending champion next year — in favor of the Amgen Tour of California.
“With two Giros to my name, I’d be thrilled to head back Stateside and compete in Tour of California, as well as the national championships in their new time slot in May,” King told VeloNews. “I’d be psyched to see the new time slot for California. I was a bit preoccupied in Italy last year so I missed the May Tour of California. Warmer weather, unlike the February event, should be a blast.”
King expects to fill a support role, most of the time, for his new team.
“On paper Liquigas is one of the strongest teams on the planet, bar none,” he said. “Their 2010 palmares speak for themselves, obviously highlighted by two grand tour wins. I know my role these past two years entering the European peloton has been that of a domestique and that’s something I really enjoy. In these two years in Europe I’ve seen considerable improvement in my performance, fitness, and value to the team. I know I’ll have my time to shine in due time, but laying it all out there and contributing to the team is the role I’d like to continue to fill,” he said.
His 2011 race calendar is far from set in stone, but besides the Tour of California and the pro championships, King said he would like to race the two late-season Canadian ProTour races, which are close to his native New Hampshire.
King has a two-year contract with Liquigas-Cannondale. He declined to disclose the contract’s value.