Italian star Gilbero Simoni will lead the talented Lampre-Caffita team at the 2005 Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under.
The 33 year old has twice won the Tour of Italy (2003 & 2001) and in 2004 and 2000 finished the grand tour third overall. Simoni is one of a select group of riders to have claimed stage victories in the Tour de France, Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain and will be one of the key members of the newly formed UCI Pro Tour team which is the result of a merger between Lampre and Saeco.
Joining him in Adelaide is strong one day rider Dario Pieri who was second in last year’s Paris-Roubaix Classic along with consistent top ten finishers Daniele Benati and Giosue Bonomi.
But the Italians won’t have it all their way with the French registered FDJeux.com listing Tour de France star Baden Cooke at the top of their list of starters for the Tour.
South Africas Ian McLeod is also in the FDJeux.com line-up and it will be his first outing for the team.
Cooke, the 2003 Tour de France sprint champion, this year contested the Olympic Games road race after starting the year with a stage win and 3rd overall in the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under.
Also lining up for FDJeux.com is 2004 Australian Road Champion, Matthew Wilson, and another Olympian in Bathurst cyclist Mark Renshaw. Renshaw was sixth in the points race in Athens. FDJeux.com will also boast a crop of talented young French riders.