Moser gets Tour de France nod from Cannondale

Sagan will return to the Amgen Tour of California in 2013

PARIS (AFP) — Highly-rated young Italian Moreno Moser was on Monday handed his Tour de France debut by his Cannondale team when it unveiled its plans for leading riders for the forthcoming season.

Moser, 22 and nephew of Francesco, the former world road champion and winner of the 1984 Giro d’Italia, will head the team — formerly known as Liquigas — alongside Slovakian star Peter Sagan.

Cannondale, which saw star Vincenzo Nibali leave for Astana in offseason, will base its hopes for the Giro and the Vuelta a España on veteran Italian Ivan Basso, who already has two Giro wins to his name, in 2006 and 2010.

Moser, who had a promising maiden season on the professional circuit last year, is also due to compete in Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo, as well as the three Ardennes classics.

Sagan, who won the green jersey on the Tour de France last year, will also feature in several of the one-day classics (Milan-San Remo, Ghent-Wevelgem, Ronde van Vlaanderen, and Amstel Gold Race), before competing in the Amgen Tour of California in May and rejoining Moser for the Tour de Suisse.

Moser’s fellow young Italian hopeful, Elia Viviani, 23, will team up with Basso at the Giro and Paris-Nice in March.