The point men
With the Tour's two biggest favourites seemingly neck and neck coming out of the Dauphiné Libéré and Tour de Suisse respectively, will it come down to the strength of the team that decides the ultimate winner of the 2005 Tour de France?
We know a lot about Discovery and their riders, but what about T-Mobile, and can they unite to derail the inexorably successful Blue Train who have made it six out of six so far? Anthony Tan gets the low-down from Jan Ullrich's point men, Andreas Klöden and Alexandre Vinokourov.
It's hard to say which team is strongest on paper - T-Mobile or Discovery Channel. However, both have a former Tour winner leading their team, and eight other men willing to sacrifice all personal ambitions for one objective and one objective only: to win the Tour de France.
In T-Mobile, as well as 1997 champion Jan Ullrich, the Bonn-based team boasts two riders who have finished on the podium in Paris: last year's runner-up, Andreas Klöden, and third place overall in 2003, Alexandre Vinokourov. This trio alone makes a formidable team in itself, and with each one approaching their best form, it's becomes apparent that this could well be the toughest title defence Lance Armstrong will ever undertake.
Just before the team's Tour launch on Wednesday, we managed to find out a little more about Ullrich's two most valuable lieutenants, whose personality and style are often in complete contrast with one another - but will hopefully lead to a recipe for success as 'Der Kaiser' embarks on what will be his eighth Tour de France campaign.
Click here for the full interview