The Rabobank team yesterday announced its Tour squad with one adjustment to its initial plans: Bram de Groot replaces Thomas Dekker in the line-up.
Besides the new Dutch national champion, Michael Boogerd, Rabobank will field Erik Dekker, Bram de Groot, Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening, Juan Antonio Flecha, Oscar Freire, Denis Menchov and Michael Rasmussen.
Joost Posthuma did not attend the team presentation in Valkenburg due to a back injury, although he is expected to be fit for the Tour.
"This is our best possible team at this moment," team manager Erik Breukink said. "There were too many doubts concerning the condition of Thomas Dekker to take him to the Tour de France. Thomas had the same doubts. The final decision was taken after careful consideration with Thomas. This situation will be very difficult for him. I highly respect him for being with us in this decision."
Breukink said that Bram de Groot's place was clinched after his eighth place in the Netherlands championship. "I think everybody has enjoyed the way he competed during the national championship," he said.
Breukink pointed at Denis Menchov, winner of the 2005 Tour of Spain, as the Rabobank's top rider for the general classification but added, "This team has many options for the Tour de France."