Roberto Heras leads a very strong Liberty Seguros squad, that includes Joseba Beloki. Beloki, who crashed on the descent to Gap in the Tour de France 2003, makes a welcome return to the race. After a wasted season in 2004 which saw him abandon the Vuelta Espana with low morale, he has returned to Team manager Manolo Saiz for 2005. He approaches the race with optimism.
“Well, I hope that I do well in the Tour de France. For me it is just another race, but it has got to me and that’s why I want to do as well as I can. I think we have the team to do a great Tour if everything goes well. The team is very good and so we want to be competitive in the best race in the world. Then, of course, we have the Vuelta, but I can’t think about that now. When you have the Tour in mind, you have to completely concentrate on it. Only when you have finished can you begin to look towards other objectives.”
Also confident is Roberto Heras; talking to the Spanish daily Marca, he said "I believe that we are going to do a good Tour because this team has real quality." Not surprisingly, Heras considers the biggest Team rivals to be “Discovery Channel, Phonak, CSC and T-Mobile.”
As for major riders, Heras thinks that “Armstrong has won six and can win seven, but he can be beaten too”. He thinks other contenders will be “Vinokourov has been very strong, like Leipheimer and Botero. But Ullrich, Mayo, Basso and others will also be in great shape at the start..."
Another rider who returned “home” to Saiz in 2005 is Jörg Jaksche. Along with Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Marcos Serrano the team has strength in depth and experience.
Fast Australian Allan Davis will be competitive in the sprints.
With an eye to the white young rider's jersey, look no further than Alberto Contador and Luis León Sanchez. This two riders have been in cracking form all year – and may cause a few surprises and upsets along the way.
The Team :
Joseba Beloki, Alberto Contador, Allan Davis, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Roberto Heras, Jörg Jaksche, Luis León Sanchez, Marcos Serrano and Ángel Vicioso.