Phonak has already announced the 12 riders who will be vying for the nine spots on the Tour de France team. Floyd Landis and Santiago Botero are at the top of the list, as co-captains. The others are Kiki Gutierrez, Bert Grabsch, Nicolas Jalabert and Alexandre Moos, all of whom rode the Tour this year, and Victor Hugo Peña, Axel Merckx, Koos Moerenhout, Miguel Angel Perdiguero, Uros Murn and Martin Elmiger.
The team will also change its Tour preparations this year. Last year, almost the complete Tour team rode the Dauphine Libéré. This year, the 12 riders will be divided into two groups, with Landis, Peña, Merckx, Gutierrez and Elmiger to ride the Giro.
In addition, the team has plans for the earlier part of the season. Sprinters such as Hunter, Guidi, Clerc and Murn will look for wins in the Tour of Qatar. They will also join Elmiger, Rast, Jalabert, Moerenhout, Grabsch and Vitoria as the basis for the spring classics, from Milan-San Remo to Paris Roubaix. Perdiguero, Merckx and McCartney will ride in the Ardennes.
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer