Gerolsteiner Tour de France Team
The Gerolsteiner Team has been selected for the Tour de France and it will include sprinter Robert "Frösi" Förster and Time trial specialist Michael Rich.
Michael Holczer explained his decision to include the two men.
"Taking into account the emphasis on the sprinters in the first week it makes sense to include “Frösi”, he showed in the Giro d’Italia that he has good form. Michael Rich could certainly be a contender in the 19 kilometre prologue, and could well finish in the top ten of the Time Trial, and he will be a great asset in the Team Time Trial, as he demonstrated on Sunday."
The 35 year old Michael Rich was naturally delighted with the news:
"I am tremendously happy to get to ride in the Tour de France, especially because the prologue suits me perfectly," said Rich, who will ride his second Tour.
For 27-year-old Robert Forster the news was "a dream come true."
He will be the only "waterboy" to start both the Giro and the Tour de France.
The most experienced Gerolsteiner rider in the Tour de France, Beat Zberg, has started 7 Tours, only failing to finish once in 1996. The year after he got his best ever finish in eleventh place. Zberg starts his 8th "Grand Boucle", after a great ride in the Tour de Suisse that saw him finish in 7th spot after some very aggressive riding. Holczer describes Zberg as "the third man."
So if Zberg is the third man who are number one and two? It is a trick question because there is no second man. Rather, Georg Totschnig (previously six starts) and Levi Leipheimer (three starts) are both the first men in the Gerolsteiner team. They are absolutely equal, both the Austrian and American finished in the top ten last year, points out Holczer, Totschnig was seventh, Leipheimer, riding for Rabobank, finished in 9th spot.
"They are our double challenge for the Tour", says Holczer.
The "Waterboys" in France will be:
Robert Förster (27.1.78), Sebastian Lang (15.9.79), Levi Leipheimer (24.10.73), Michael Rich (23.9.69), Ronny Scholz (24.4.78), Georg Totschnig (25.5.71), Fabian Wegmann (20.6.80), Peter Wrolich (30.5.74) and Beat Zberg (10.5.71)
Tour de France – Cunego Out
Giro 2004 winner the Italian rider Damiano Cunego will not start the 2005 Tour de France, his Lampre team have confirmed today.
In a statement the team said -
As has been stated in the past, Damiano Cunego underwent some test on the 17 June, which showed some irregularities with his antibodies, namely the virus EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) responsible for the infection of mononucleosis.
The levels are now showing (170 U.A.) compared to the 580 U.A. which was taken immediately after the Giro d’Italia, so we can see that the levels are getting to their normal stage, however it is still a long way to go until it gets to the normal levels of between 0-20 U.A.
So we can safely say that the virus was taken on during the middle of April and it will take at least another two or three weeks before he will see full recovery.
As far as the medics and the clinic are concerned, as well as Damiano Cunego, who still feels to be in the stage of recovery.
Therefore the technical staff and medical staff of the team Lampre-Caffita have decided that it will not be a good idea to participate in the Tour de France, and until full recovery is seen there will be no racing for Damiano Cunego.
A further decision will be made towards the end of the July when more tests will be made and hopefully we will see Damiano Cunego back in the race for that period of the season.
The announcement has fuelled speculation in Italy that Gilberto Simoni, who did not ride the Tour de Suisse as he was expected too, will ride the Tour de France.
Davitamon Lotto - Tour de France Team
Looking for stage wins from Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans to do well in the General Classification the Davitamon Lotto Team have released the following announcement -
After a last round-up following the Tour of Switzerland, the Dauphiné Libéré, the Ster Elektro Tour and the ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven, the sports managers of Davitamon-Lotto have decided unanimously to add Mario Aerts and Johan Vansummeren to the first seven names of the selection.
The final selection for the Tour includes 5 Belgians (Mario Aerts, Christophe Brandt, Axel Merckx, Wim Vansevenant and Johan Vansummeren), 2 Australians (Cadel Evans and Robbie McEwen), 1 Dutchman (Leon Van Bon) and 1 American (Fred Rodriguez).
This selection should represent the perfect blend to help Robbie McEwen bagging some stage and, possibly, to win the green jersey, as well as assisting Cadel Evans who will aim at a good final classification. Some racers will also get a free hand in some secondary stages.
Euskaltel Tour de France Team
After an invisible start to the season the Euskaltel boys have bounced back with two dramatic wins in the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de Suisse.
Aitor Gonzalez, winner of the Tour de Suisse, will not ride the Tour de France but will concentrate on the Vuelta.
The Euskaltel team will be:
Mayo, Zubeldia H., Etxebarra U., Camano, Flores, Landaluze, Isasi, Herrero, and Egoy Martinez.
CSC Tour de France team
Bjarne Riis has now revealed the names of eight of the nine riders, who will represent Team CSC during this year's Tour de France. The following riders have been selected: Ivan Basso, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Bobby Julich, Giovanni Lombardi, Carlos Sastre, Nicki Sřrensen, Jens Voigt and David Zabriskie.
The last spot goes to either Jakob Piil or Luke Roberts.