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Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Spain's Caisse d'Epargne ProTour squad has finalised its Tour de France lineup , according to...
Spain's Caisse d'Epargne ProTour squad has finalised its Tour de France lineup, according to Belgian newspaper Het Laastste News. While the report is yet to be confirmed by the squad, it lists Spanish strongman and last year's Tour runner up Oscar Pereiro as the team leader ahead of its main hope Alejandro Valverde.
Russia's Vladimier Karpets also gets the nod in the squad's lineup. The 26 year-old time trial specialist has had a strong season with the squad, taking stage victories in the Vuelta a La Rioja, Volta Ao Alentejo and Veulta A Castilla Y Leon.
"I know the course for 2007," Valverde was quoted as saying. "Despite having two long time trial stages, the race will be decided in the Alps and Pyrenees - not necessarily in that order."
The article also lists José Vicente Garcia, Xabier Zandio, Luis León Sánchez, Francisco Pérez and French duo Florent Brard and Nicolas Portal on the Tour roster.
Despite having Pereiro in the squad, its expected that the team will ride for Valverde from the beginning and see how the tour unfolds. With both Valverde and Pereiro on its side Caisse d'Epargne is billed by many as the squad to beat at this year's race.
The Tour de France kicks off in London, England on July 7. It's the first time in the event's 94 year history it has visited the city, considered one of the world's financial capitals.