Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering the cobbled Classics season is coming
to a climax, the Quick Step-Innergetic squad dispatched to Georgia contains
no world class names as it stretches its resources to cover yet another
front - the Boonens, Bettinis or Pozzatos are all either racing in the
Ardennes or resting. Nonetheless, it gives several of the lesser lights,
usually consigned to domestique work for the big guns, a chance to
show their ability in America's only Hors Categorie race.
With no clear contenders for the overall in this roster, Quick Step will
be looking to finish highly in stages, particularly those on the flat. It's
possible that former Espoir world champion Francesco Chicchi, who
secured his first professional win in Febuary after a host of second places,
will be leading the team in the bunch sprints, though "L'Americano" Guido
Trenti, a Vuelta stage winner, has a good sprint on him and will relish an
opportunity to shine on "home" soil, more free of leadout responsibilities.
Davide Bramati, in his seventeenth year as a professional will
also act as road captain, helping to direct the team from the road.
In the time-trial, Sebastian Rosseler could finish inside the top
twenty - fourth in the Three Days of De Panne time-trial helped him to a
finish of fourth overall and proved his ability against the clock.
Compatriots Jurgen van de Walle and Geert Verheyen, a top
twenty finisher in the Tour de France, will meanwhile be focusing on
finishing as high up as possible, or attacking, when the race hits the
climbs, though they will find it tough against the more recognised climbers
and stage racers, as well as home riders looking to peak here.
Dutchman Remmert Wielinga and Leonardo Scarselli complete
the Quick Step-Innergetic lineup. The former faded into anonymity for a
couple of years after showing initial promise, but came back into the
spotlight this spring with victory in the GP Chiasso after an all-day