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Pre-Preview... Getting Ready

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First off, I moved some of the race links from last week's roundup to the sidebar... look to your right.

Secondly, before breaking down who the true contenders are in Sunday's Ronde, I thought I'd compile a list of protected riders and other protagonists, to give us something to chew on before attempting predictions. From the Start List site:


Quick Step-Innergetic: Tom Boonen, Paolo Bettini, Nick Nuyens
Davitamon-Lotto: Peter Van Petegem, maybe Robbie McEwen
CSC: Fabien Cancellara?
Liberty Seguros: Allan Davis
Cofidis: Rik Verbrugge?
Credit Agricole: Thor Hushovd?
Francaise des Jeux: Philippe Gilbert, Bernhard Eisel
Gerolsteiner: Heinrich Haussler?
T-Mobile: Andreas Klier, Steffen Wesemann
Lampre: Alessandro Ballan
Liquigas: Luca Paolini
Milram: Alessandro Petacchi, Erik Zabel
Rabobank: Juan Antonio Flecha
Phonak: Robbie Hunter, Koos Moerenhout? Axel Merckx(!)
Discovery: Stijn Devolder, Leif Hoste, George Hincapie
Chocolade Jacques: Nico Eeckhoudt
Unibet: Baden Cooke

Skil, Euskaltel, AG2R, Bouygues, Saunier Duval, Illes Balears, Lambouwkrediet, Team Tenax -- I have no freakin clue.