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Ted King and Tim Duggan might not be the center of attention during Monday’s Liquigas team rollout in Milan, but the American pair should be getting plenty of chances to show their stuff when it counts most during the upcoming racing season.
Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali will be the stars during Liquigas-Cannondale’s team presentation, yet the two new American arrivals to the Italian-based team will be playing important supporting roles behind the headline-generating team captains.
King and Duggan are the first Americans signed to the Italian powerhouse and can expect to see plenty of racing in support roles in Europe and play a higher profile when the team crosses the Atlantic to race in such events as the Tour of California.
King, 28, moves across to Liquigas after two successful seasons with Cervélo and the New Englander said he’s ready to impress his new bosses.
“Cervélo was a very fitting introduction to European racing for me two years ago, but to now jump to such a professional and established team like Liquigas-Cannondale is huge,” King told VeloNews. “The success this team has had the past few years and especially with the momentum from 2010 carries with it a lot of weight and expectations coming into 2011. So the new team, new colors, new language, new race program, cumulatively all of it makes me extremely excited to start this upcoming season.”
Duggan, also 28, joins Liquigas after riding his entire pro career with Slipstream and then Garmin. He overcame a horrific crash during the 2008 Tour de Georgia to race a full European calendar in 2009 only to see more challenges with crashes in 2010.
Duggan rebounded to finish off the 2010 season on a strong note and his expectations are high going into Liquigas in what will be a new start after six seasons with Garmin.
“I’m really looking forward to 2011, new team, new goals and new motivation,” Duggan wrote on his Web site. “My New Year’s resolution is to keep the rubber-side down and stay healthy this year. If I can do that, the season will be a breeze compared to last year.”
King and Duggan are part of a new wave of international riders joining the Italian-backed Liquigas squad for 2011. Each are the first Americans signed in the team’s history.
Each got their first introductions to the team during fall training camps in Italy, first in the Dolomites and later on Sardegna. Both have returned to Europe and will be present in Milan on Monday for the team presentation.
With Cannondale stepping up as team co-sponsor this season, Liquigas team manager Roberto Amadio said the bike manufacturer asked the squad to add some international flavor to the roster to widen its appeal beyond the Italian borders.
“Cannondale asked us to increase our international profile, so we found some new riders who were very appealing to us,” Amadio told VeloNews in an earlier interview. “These riders will fit nicely into our team.”
Amadio said both can expect to see a lot of race days both in Europe and the United States. King is already a veteran of two grand tours with two Giro d’Italia under his belt while Duggan will be hoping to see his first grand tour action of his career.
“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 continued. “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.”
New arrivals for Liquigas-Cannondale for 2011
• Eros Capecchi (Ita), 24 – Footon-Servetto
• Damiano Caruso (Ita), 23 – De Rosa-Stac
• Mauro Da Dalto (Ita), 30 – Lampre
• Tim Duggan (USA), 28 – Garmin-Transitions
• Ted King (USA), 28 – Cervélo
• Paolo Longo (Ita), 30 – ISD-Neri
• Alan Maragon (Ita), 26 – Colnago-CSF
• Dominik Nerz (Ger), 21 – Milram
• Simone Ponzi (Ita), 24 – Lampre
• Cameron Wurf (Aus), 27 – Androni-Diquigiovanni
• Cristiano Salerno (Ita), 25 – De Rosa-Stac
Returning from 2010 roster
• Valerio Agnoli
• Ivan Basso
• Francesco Bellotti
• Maciej Bodnar
• Davide Cimolai
• Tiziano Dall’Antonia
• Mauro Finetto
• Jacopo Guarnieri
• Kristjan Koren
• Vincenzo Nibali
• Daniel Oss
• Maciej Paterski
• Fabio Sabatini
• Juraj Sagan
• Peter Sagan
• Sylvester Szmyd
• Alessandro Vanotti
• Elia Viviani
Moving on for 2011
• Daniele Bennati – Leopard-Trek
• Francesco Chicchi – Quick Step
• Robert Kiserlovski – Astana
• Roman Kreuziger – Astana
• Franco Pellizotti – unknown
• Manuel Quinziato – BMC
• Ivan Santaromita – BMC
• Brian Vandborg – Saxo Bank-Sungard
• Frederik Willems – Omega Pharma-Lotto
• Oliver Zaugg – Leopard-Trek