Phonak presents the Tour de France
Phonak Cycling's Tour de France
team is impressive in terms of its experience: It has
competed a total of 32 times at the Tour de France.
Among the riders from nine different countries there is
also a Swiss rider, Alexandre Moos.
Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, South
Africa, Switzerland, Colombia and the US: The nine
Phonak riders on the Tour de France team hail from nine
different countries. Miguel Angel Perdiguero and Axel
Merckx will support Floyd Landis as "Captain du Route".
Floyd Landis can also count on six other strong
teammates: Bert Grabsch, Koos Moerenhout, Nicolas
Jalabert, Robert Hunter, and strong climbers Alexandre
Moos and Victor Hugo Peņa.
Team has enormous experience
"It was important to find a good balance between good
climbers and pacesetters," said Team Manager John
Lelangue explaining his main focus when selecting the
Tour de France team. An important point was also
experience. As a result, the nine riders have competed a
total of 32 times at the Tour de France. The most
experienced among them is 33-year old Frenchman Nicolas
Jalabert, who competed in his first Tour de France in
1997. When he starts the "Grande Boucle" in Strasbourg
on 1 July, it will be his eighth Tour appearance. Axel
Merckx will be competing for the seventh time.
A Swiss rider on the team
A Swiss rider, Alexandre Moos, has also been named to
the Tour de France team. The rider from Wallis has
distinguished himself this year in particular by serving
as an important support rider and a strong climber in
the mountains. This year will be the 33-year-old's
second time to compete in the Tour, after having
competed in 2005. Spanish rider Miguel Angel Perdiguero
will be competing in the Tour de France for the first
Hunter is ready to ride again
Robert Hunter's nomination was unclear for quite some
time. His crash a month ago at the Volta a Catalunya
seemed to signal the end to his Tour de France plans.
The South African had to undergo an operation on his
shoulder. He was lucky that his hand injury turned out
not to involve any broken bones. In the meantime, Robert
Hunter is free of pain. There should be nothing else
standing in the way of his competing at the Tour de
France. His speedy recovery surprised even team
physician Denise Demir: "Robert Hunter has shown what's
possible with enormous willpower."
Investing everything in victory
The riders have been training specifically for the Tour
de France, they have competed in several different races
with Floyd Landis and therefore they know the work they
will have to do during the three weeks of the Tour de
France. The schedule is right on track, everything has
been well planned for the Tour de France, the riders are
in good shape, and they have the best materials. "So now
we can start the Tour de France focusing exclusively on
the race itself. That is the most important thing," says
John Lelangue, who is confident in terms of the season
highlight. The Phonak Cycling Team's goals are no
secret. As leader Floyd Landis puts it: "We want to win
the Tour. That has to be the goal. We will do everything
we can to reach that goal."