Danilo Di Luca and Alessandro Petacchi have been named in the Team LPR Brakes line-up for the Tour of Britain.
The race could be Petacchi?s first competitive outing for months as he is currently banned for a doping-related offence until August 31.
Petacchi?s will be free to race when the Tour of Britain starts in London on September 7.
Last summer, the sprinter exceeded the amount of salbutamol he was permitted to use to treat his asthma and was suspended from racing. Although the Italian Cycling Federation quashed this suspension, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld it on appeal and banned him from racing, stripping him of his race results from October 31 2007.
The 34-year-old was fired by his Milram team in May, but was handed a contract by Team LPR Brakes and will return to racing in their colours when he?s allowed to.
Di Luca, 32, won the 2007 Giro d?Italia and was leading the UCI?s ProTour competition when he was suspended from competition for three months for consulting with Dr Carlo Santuccione, who was on a list of banned doctors issued by the Italian Olympic Committee after allegedly being involved in a doping network in Italy.
Di Luca?s suspension coincided with the close-season. This year he finished eighth in the Giro d?Italia.
Mick Bennett, technical director of The Tour of Britain said: ?I?m pleased to be able to welcome LPR to The Tour of Britain and am sure that their inclusion will benefit the race, as both Petacchi and Di Luca are more than capable of winning stages and possibly the overall too.
?Like everyone else I?m also excited by the prospect of seeing Alessandro Petacchi going head-to-head with Mark Cavendish in the sprints, which should make each day?s stage finish unmissable.
?Having LPR ride The Tour of Britain adds to what was already our best ever line-up of teams and riders, which I?m sure will make this year?s race the best yet.?
Highlights of the Tour of Britain will be broadcast on ITV4
LPR BRAKES FOR TOUR OF BRITAIN
The provisional line-up is Alessandro Petacchi, Danilo Di Luca, Claudio Cucinotta, Roberto Ferrari, Alessandro Maserati and Alessandro Spezialetti.
2008 TOUR OF BRITAIN TEAMS
An Post-M.Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly Cycling Team
September 7, Stage 1: London
September 8, Stage 2: Milton Keynes ? Newbury
September 9, Stage 3: Chard ? Burnham-on-Sea
September 10, Stage 4: Worcester ? Stoke-on-Trent
September 11, Stage 5: Hull ? Dalby Forest
September 12, Stage 6: Darlington ? Newcastle
September 13, Stage 7: Glasgow Green ? Dumfries & Galloway
September 14, Stage 8: Blackpool - Liverpool
See The Wednesday Comment later this week for reaction to LPR Brakes' inclusion in the Tour of Britain
Martin, Millar and Backstedt in Garmin ToB team
Rock Racing to Tour of Britain
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.
Enric Mas drops Tadej Pogačar to prevail in Giro dell’Emilia
Elisa Longo Borghini won the women’s edition of the race earlier in the day
By Tom Davidson • Published
Nairo Quintana to leave Arkéa-Samsic, six weeks after signing new contract
The Colombian is currently appealing his Tour de France disqualification
By Tom Davidson • Published