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American team confirms roster for Swiss stage race
Team RadioShack has confirmed its line-up for the Tour de Suisse from June 12-20. As expected the American squad is sending team leader Lance Armstrong to compete in Switzerland, together with Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Jason McCartney, Dmitriy Muravyev, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast and Gert Steegmans.
With such big names as Armstrong, Klöden and Leipheimer, the team directed by Johan Bruyneel therefore includes many of the riders in Switzerland this month who will also participate in the Tour de France in July. Only Chris Horner is currently racing the other of the two Tour preparation races, the Critérium du Dauphiné, where Haimar Zubeldia, another important Tour helper, broke his wrist a few days ago.
Armstrong and his lieutenants will be up against tough competition as many other Tour favourites chose Switzerland as their final training ground for July. Fränk and Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Transitions), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) and Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) will all fine-tune their form there this coming week, with Alberto Contador (Astana) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) racing in France at the moment.
With a time trial prologue, several hilly stages, a mountaintop finish and a final time trial on offer, the Tour de Suisse is a condensed version of the Tour de France and a perfect build-up for the French Grand Tour coming up four weeks from now.