The Tour de France may still be over a month away, but that hasn't stopped Basque squad Euskaltel-Euskadi from naming its provisional 11 riders from which nine will be chosen to start the Grand Boucle in London on July 7. Former ONCE rider and team technical secretary Igor González de Galdeano announced the team, to be led by climbing specialist Haimar Zubeldia who aims repeat his 2003 success where he finished fifth.
The remaining 10 riders are: Mikel Astarloza, Iñigo Landaluze, Iñaki Isasi, Aitor Galdos, Igor Antón, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Amets Txurruka, Rubén Pérez and Andoni Aranaga.
Among its ranks of climbers, the team also has two potential sprinters in veteran Iñaki Isasi and young Aitor Galdos. Igor Antón will aim for the white jersey of best young rider after his promising ride in the 2006 Vuelta a España were he won Stage 16.
González de Galdeano, who wore the yellow jersey during the 2002 edition, gave his opinion on the current favourites for this year's race, naming Astana riders Andreas Klöden and Alexandre Vinokourov plus Discovery's Alberto Contador as the most likely winners.
Courtesy of Monika Prell