Matti Breschel finally looks like making his Tour de France debut with Team Saxo Bank this year, although Stuart O'Grady is facing a race against time to be fit for July and may not make the final cut for the team.
Three riders are set for the team's Tour squad: Andy Schleck, second last year, Fränk Schleck, fifth last year, and World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. The rest of the team has still to be announced.
Breschel rode well in the Spring Classics season but then had to abandon Paris-Roubaix because of a knee problem and since then has only ridden the Tour of California. The 25-year-old is riding the Tour de Suisse, starting today, and is optimistic about his chances of securing a place for the Tour.
“We have not yet been told how the team to the Tour will look, but all the reports I have received indicate then that I will be there when it starts July 3 in Rotterdam," Breschel told politiken.dk.
"It was difficult to get through the long racing pause, because it was "significantly longer than I had anticipated. Because I had to keep myself calm, I put on weight and that meant that I also needed to diet. When I finally raced again at the Tour of California about a month ago, I could feel that I still had a way to go.”
Now, thought, he feels is where he ought to be. Breschel was at training camps in the Pyrenees and Alps, riding the key Tour mountain stages.
"We came directly to the Tour de Suisse from training in the Alps, and it went much better there than in the Pyrenees, where I was only coming back after injury break. Now I feel that I am close to my form from the spring.”
O'Grady still has a chance
Team owner Bjarne Riis told politiken.dk talked about Stuart O'Grady's chance of riding the Tour de France.
"It's obvious that Stuart is the weakest in the team right now, because it is only a little over three weeks since he broke his collarbone in the Tour of California, and he's only now making a comeback at races here in the Tour de Suisse." Riis said.
"Stuart can change the situation,” Riis said, if he puts in a strong performance in Switzerland. “Then he will again be on equal footing with nine others and that will make the final choice very difficult."
Riis added, “I have not set any particular date for the nine be named, but it will certainly be shortly after the Tour de Suisse is over on Sunday on June 20.”