By Antonio J. Salmerón
Marino Lejarreta, the designated director of the Astaná-Würth team for the next Tour of France, has announced the 12 riders from whom he will choose the final nine who will make up the team when the Tour starts in Strasbourg on July 1, provided the fall-out from Operation Puerto does not result in the team being barred from the race.
The Astaná-Würth 'long team' for the Tour is therefore: Carlos Barredo, Assan Bazayev, Joseba Beloki, Alberto Contador, Allan Davis, Jorge Jaksche, Andrey Kashechkin, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Aitor Osa, Luis León Sánchez and Alexander Vinokourov.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto