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An Euskaltel rider gets ready at the Tour de France start ramp.
Court decides final name on Thursday
The provisional start list for the Tour de France is complete, following Caisse d’Epargne’s announcement of their nine-man roster on Tuesday.
Belgian squad Quick Step is the only team expected to make a final adjustment to their squad pending the decision of a French court on its sprinter, Tom Boonen. The Chambre Arbitrale Française du Sport (CAS) is expected to decide on Thursday if Boonen can race.
There will be 180 riders in the 96th edition of the Grande Boucle, which starts in Monaco Saturday. Race organisers have invited 17 ProTour teams and three wild card teams – Agritubel, Skil-Shimano and Cervélo TestTeam. The latter being led by last year’s Tour winner, Carlos Sastre.
Stéphane Goubert (AG2R La Mondiale) will be the oldest starter at 39 and nine Tour starts. At the other end of the spectrum is Tour debutant, Columbian Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d’Epargne), who at 22, will be the youngest rider in this year’s race.
The 2009 Tour de France’s 21 stages will cover 3,445 kilometres. The course contains two individual time trials, one team time trial, 10 flat stages and eight mountain stages, including a finish to Mont Ventoux on the race’s penultimate stage. The Tour begins on Saturday, July 4, in Monaco and finishes in Paris on Sunday, July 26.
Click here to see Cyclingnews' provisional start list for the 2009 Tour de France. (RT)