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Never Trust Anyone Over 27

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I've said numerous times that the sport is about to be dominated by a wave of young talent. I don't know how to put this in historical perspective; such matters are for the Professor Wilcocksons and Phil Liggetts to handle.

But here comes the wave... on the flip:

Listed by the rider's age at the season's start:

21
Tyler Farrar, Cofidis
Thomas Dekker, Rabobank
Thomas Lovkvist, FDJeux

22
Heinrich Haussler, Gerolsteiner

23
Andre Greipel, T-Mobile
Bas Giling, T-Mobile
Vlad Gusev, Discovery
Alberto Contador, Liberty Seguros
Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole
Philippe Gilbert, FDJeux

24
Fabien Cancellara, Team CSC
Brian Vandborg, Team CSC
Filippo Pozzato, Quick Step
Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval
Damiano Cunego, Lampre
Markus Fothen, Gerolsteiner

25
Frank Schleck, Team CSC
Patrik Sinkewicz, T-Mobile
Allan Davis, Liberty Seguros
Andrey Kashechkin, Liberty Seguros
Tom Boonen, Quick Step
Nick Nuyens, Quick Step
Gert Steegmans, Davitamon
Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne
Vlad Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne
Daniele Bennati, Lampre
Danilo Napolitano, Lampre
Bernhard Eisel, FDJeux
Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner
Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner
Simon Gerrans, AG2R

26
Michael Rogers, T-Mobile
Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery
Stijn Devolder, Discovery
Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon
Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis
Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom
Mauricio Ardila, Rabobank
Alessandro Ballan, Lampre

In addition to holding the rainbow jersey and Pro Tour leader's jersey, here are this group's 2006 wins to date:

  • Tour Down Under (Gerrans overall, Davis 2 stages)
  • Tour of Qatar (Boonen, overall & 4 stages)
  • Het Volk (Gilbert)
  • Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (Nuyens)
  • Paris-Nice stages (Boonen 3, Kashechkin 1)
  • Tirreno-Adriatico (Dekker overall, Cancellara ITT)
  • Milan-San Remo (Pozzato)
  • Coppi e Bartali (Cunego overall & stage, Napolitano 2 stages)
  • E3 Prijs Vlaanderen (Boonen)
  • GP Miguel Indurain (Wegmann)
  • Tour of Flanders (Boonen)
  • Vuelta a Pais Vasco (Gomez Marchante overall, 1 stage, Voeckler & Valverde 1 stage)
  • Circuit de la Sarthe (Schumacher)
  • Paris-Roubaix (Cancellara)
  • Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen (Boonen)
  • Amstel Gold (Schleck)
  • La Fleche Wallonne (Valverde)

Misses:

  • Tour of California (Landis)
  • Paris-Nice (Landis)
  • Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (Vinokourov)
  • Dwars door Vlaanderen (Veuchelen)
  • Criterium International (Basso)
  • Brabantse Pijl (Freire)
  • Gent-Wevelgem (Thor)

Granted, the season is still young, and this group does not contain too many grand tour favorites. But clearly there is a significant baby boom hitting the sport right now.