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Back Pocket Previews: Liquigas!

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A former favorite team, prior to DiLuca's demise. Certainly one of the teams in flux this year.

Attributes: Liquigas have a reasonably well-rounded squad that (gasp!) sometimes does well outside Italy. For an Italian team they're pretty aggressive in their spring approach. Signing Bennati was a great diversion from the DiLuca hangover.

Problems: The DiLuca hangover. Kits. Turnover. Some sorting out to do as to how one existing expensive star (Pozzato) works constructively with another incoming expensive star (Bennati).

Key Rider(s): Vincenzo Nibali. He can climb and time-trial, and though he's a young 24, a breakout by the Sicilian would do wonders for a team that doesn't have much else to throw at the Giro GC.

Key Moment: Champs Elysees, late July. Bennati's charge should certainly include a Green Jersey run, and if he can take on Boonen, it will be a three-week battle royale. Seriously, this could be one of the best competitions of the year.

Passing Thought: I suppose Bennati and Pozzato could get in each other's way, but a more realistic scenario is that it works rather well. First, I have zero info and no memory at the moment, but I doubt the 'Gaz signed Daniele without talking to Pippo first. Seems more likely that Pippo was all for it, maybe even recruiting. [Help here?] Either way, neither is enough of a force in the classics to overshadow the other, so even if they didn't mesh well, it still probably wouldn't be too hard to just go with whoever looks stronger on any given day.