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Discovery Channel Announces Team for California Tour
 
By Cathy Mehl
Date: 2/17/2006
Discovery Channel Announces Team for California Tour
 

San Francisco, CA. – The Discovery Channel Team has assembled a top-tier roster of riders to compete at the inaugural Amgen Tour of California beginning Sunday, February 19. The eight-day stage race rolls out with an individual prologue time-trial, a true race against the clock, on the hilly streets of San Francisco. The eight-man roster includes:

Michael Barry (Canada) • Stage winner, Tour of Austria

Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) • 2004 under-23 World Champion

Tom Danielson (Durango, CO) • 2005 Tour of Georgia champion

Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) • 14-time Tour de France finisher

Vladimir Gusev (Russia) • Russian Time Trial Champion

George Hincapie (Greenville, SC) • 2005 Tour de France stage winner

Paolo Savoldelli (Italy) • 2005 Giro d’Italia champion

Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa) ∙ Third place 2005 San Francisco Grand Prix

The Discovery Channel Team enters the race as a favorite for the overall win, and although early in the season, this rare US event has been targeted as a 2006 objective. The race has been embraced by the global pro cycling world as a high-profile and demanding event for its location, route challenges, and competitive field. With a number of top European teams bringing first-tier squads, and US riders wanting a great home turf performance, the battle will be animated and hotly contested.

“We are coming into the race with a few guys who have the fitness and capability to have a great race. The guys are feeling good after the Solvang camp but we know that some of the other teams like CSC, Gerolosteiner and Phonak have also had good training and want to win the race. The time trial and some specific climbs will likely decide the winner,” stated Sports Director Johan Bruyneel.

As the team heads into their first season in eight years without Lance Armstrong, motivation is high to prove that Team Discovery Channel can still be a dominant force in the peloton. Focus can now be placed on races throughout the world where many different team members can have success.

Tom Danielson, racing in his second season with the Discovery Channel Team, looks to be one of the favorites for this race, along with teammate George Hincapie. Danielson, 2005 Tour de Georgia champion, is a rider with the motivation and ability to take a stage win as well as the overall victory. “I had a great camp in Solvang last month and followed that up with 10 days of solid training in Santa Cruz with my teammate Michael Barry. I am feeling good and am very motivated to have a great performance. I don’t get to race in the US very often and I think it’s important to put on a good show in the first Tour of California—in front of the home crowd.”


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