Saxo Bank-Sungard confirmed its Giro d’Italia line-up headlined by Alberto Contador and Richie Porte.
Last year, Porte was the Giro sensation, riding for a week in pink before settling into the top-10 overall in his impressive grand tour debut. This year, he will ride in support of Contador, who is gunning for a second Giro crown.
“We enter the Giro with a very strong and motivated squad. The final selection has not been easy as we have many strong cards on our hands but one thing is certain, this line-up is top tuned and highly motivated to win and they are strong enough to pull it off,” said team boss Bjarne Riis on the team site. “We are well-prepared, we want to make a difference in the race and the race will undoubtedly be a thrill to witness and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
Contador will see strong support both in the flats and in the mountains. He will bring with him Spanish sidekicks Dani Navarro and Jesús Hernández for the mountains, where Laurent Didier and Volodymir Gustov will be able to help set the pace as well.
For the flats, he will have Kasper Klostergaard, Italian veteran Matteo Tosatto, Porte and Michael Mørkøv to help control breakaways and shelter Contador from the rigors of three weeks of racing. They will also provide a strong anchor for the opening team time trial, where Contador will be trying to limit his losses to arch-rival Liquigas-Cannondale.
“This is a dream come true for me. It’s one thing to do one of the major tours but to be in the line-up of guys to support a rider like Alberto (Contador) is something else,” Mørkøv said. “My main role in the race is to protect and to set a high pace on the flat stretches but I’m also here to support the team in the team time trial where we have a good chance to finish on the top step of the podium.”
Saxo Bank-Sungard for Giro d’Italia
• Alberto Contador
• Kasper Klostergaard
• Jesús Hernández
• Daniel Navarro
• Michael Mørkøv
• Matteo Tosatto
• Laurent Didier
• Richie Porte
• Volodymir Gustov