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Lance's Successors

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Discovery have announced their Tour de France squad.

  • George Hincapie
  • Yaroslav Popovych
  • Paolo Savoldelli
  • Jose Azevedo
  • Egoi Martinez
  • Pavel Padrnos
  • Slava Ekimov
  • Benjamin Noval
  • Chechu Rubiera

Vlad Gusev and Michael Barry are the reserves, in case of last minute issues. I'm not sure there are any surprises here. This is a GC squad top-to-bottom, albeit one where the GC leader is to be determined. The first four are all GC guys, the climbing grunts are Chechu, Martinez and Azevedo (if he isn't the GC guy), with seasoned vets Eki, Noval and Padrnos to keep the engine running.

JB on the squad:

"Although 2006 will be my first Tour de France as a director without Lance on the team, I am extremely motivated to have our team continue to be a major factor in this race," said Bruyneel. "I had a similar feeling in 1999, when we came in as an underdog even though we had strong riders. I am confident that with the team we are bringing that we can have at least one of our riders finish in a top placing in Paris. The road to the Champs Elysees is difficult and many things can happen. Our guys are ready for the challenge."