Rogers out of Tour contention

Australia's Michael Rogers will miss this year's Tour de France, as he slowly returns to racing...

Australia's Michael Rogers will miss this year's Tour de France, as he slowly returns to racing after suffering from the Epstein Barr virus. Roger's Team High Road, which will ride the Tour as Team Columbia, will be missing two of its biggest stars. The revelation Rogers won't have recovered in time for the French race by team Sport Director Rolf Aldag follows the news that Linus Gerdemann's knee problems will also prevent him from riding.

Aldag said that the three-time World Time Trial Champion would not be in form for the Tour. "He can do well in one-day races now," Aldag told German magazine Radsport. "But we will have to wait for the difficult three-week tour."

Rogers recently finished 11th overall in the Dauphiné Libéré. Last year, Rogers was the virtual leader in the Tour when he had to drop out of the eighth stage following a crash.

Kim Kirchen, who finished seventh in last year's Tour, is expected to be Team Columbia's captain. Team manager Bob Stapleton indicated at the announcement of the team's new sponsor that sprinter Mark Cavendish is almost certain to be on the Tour team. The young Manxman recently won two stages of the Tour's Italian counterpart the Giro d'Italia.

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