Samuel Sánchez will be back at the Tour de France only for the third time in his career, so he’s looking to make up for lost time.
His two previous Tour starts, in 2002 and 2003, both ended early when he missed time cuts. Since then, Sánchez has grown in stature both as a rider and as a team leader.
Despite riding into third overall at last year’s Vuelta a España, “Samu” has no pretensions about riding for GC in the Tour. He’ll leave that task to Euskaltel-Euskadi teammates Haimar Zubeldia and Mikel Astarloza, who finished fifth and ninth last year, respectively.
Belgian superstar Tom Boonen is the major absence from the Quick Step team's Tour de France roster, announced Thursday, due to a recent positive test for cocaine.
The news of Boonen's career setback — which will not lead to sporting sanctions — left Tour de France officials to quickly decide he was not welcome at the July 5-27 race.
The Belgian outfit had hoped for some clemency for the race's reigning green jersey champion, underlining the fact he tested positive for a recreational drug.
But Quick Step has accepted the Tour owners' (ASO) decision.
Liquigas will lineup without green-jersey candidate Daniele Bennati for next week’s Tour de France.
The Italian sprinter has been forced out of the Tour after problems with his Achilles tendon that flared up during Giro d’Italia, where he won three stages and the points jersey.
George Hincapie will be heading to France for the 13th time of his career as part of the Team Columbia-High Road roster revealed Wednesday.
Hincapie, 35 on Sunday, said the team brings a diverse squad with strong options for stage victories and a shot at the top 10.
“I’d love to win another stage,” Hincapie told VeloNews. “We have a good team. We’ll have a great team for the sprinters. We have Tommy (Lovkvist) for the young rider’s jersey and we’ll have Kim (Kirchen) for the overall, so hopefully we can meet all those goals.”
High Road Sports has announced the riders that will start the 2008 Tour de France. The roster consists of nine riders from eight different countries, and five aged 25 and under.
“We plan to be competitive in every stage without losing the focus on the support for Kirchen in the General Classification” explains Team Director Rolf Aldag. “This team is able to exploit and dictate the tactics on some stages”.
When Americans think of cycling, the first, and often only, thing that pops to mind is the Tour de France. For me, starting out as a truly fredly 15-year-old on an ill-fit bike wearing kits that I can’t help but cringe at now, it was the same. The Tour is the pinnacle of the sport; the dream of every young cyclist. My career has taken twists and turns, had some big swings up and down, but I’m now on track to take part in the biggest of the big: The Tour de France.
Russian Denis Menchov, one of the pre-race favorites, has been named as team leader for the nine-man Rabobank squad for the July 5-27 Tour de France, the Dutch team announced in the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Menchov is a double winner of the Vuelta a España who finished fifth in the 2006 Tour de France. The team will also be in the hunt for stage wins, and perhaps the Tour’s points jersey, with the addition of Oscar Freire, the Spaniard who is a triple world road race champion (1999, 2001 and 2004).
Freire won the Gent-Wevelgem ProTour one-day classic in April and is
The newly renamed Garmin-Chipotle team unveiled its Tour de France roster, which features three of only four Americans in the entire Tour peloton.
The team, formerly known as Slipstream-Chipotle, is making its debut in the world’s biggest bicycle race, but the roster, released on Tuesday, includes several Tour de France veterans.
This year’s Tour de France should be a little more interesting following news Tuesday that outspoken Italian rider Riccardo Riccò will take the July 5 start in Brest.
Riccò ? whose verbal outbursts are almost as lethal as his accelerations in the mountains ? will take aim at the best young rider’s white jersey during his second Tour appearance.
The 24-year-old Riccò, seen by many in Italy as the heir to deceased Giro and Tour winner Marco Pantani, is considered a longshot for the Tour's yellow jersey.
Germany’s Gerolsteiner hopes it can crack the top 10 and win a stage in the upcoming Tour de France.
The team brings Markus Fothen and Bernhard Kohl as GC hopes with Stefan Schumacher leading the charge in the hunt for an elusive stage victory.
“Fothen and Kohl can challenge for the overall race, while we are looking for stage victories in the last week,” said team sporting director Christian Henn.