Astana names preliminary Tour squad

Team Astana will go into the Tour de France with one of the strongest overall teams ever, with Alexander Vinokourov and Andreas Klöden leading the way as favourites for the podium. Andrey Kashechkin, who finished third in the 2006 Vuelta a España behind 'Vino' will play the joker. The trio will be further supported by Eddy Mazzoleni, who recently finished third in the Giro d'Italia, and Paolo Savoldelli, winner of the Giro time trial stage. Also assured of a place on the team is Klöden's lieutenant, Matthias Kessler, reports

The other three places on the Tour squad are up for grabs. The candidates are Antonio Colom, Gregory Rast, Maxim Iglinsky, Serguei Ivanov, Guennadi Mikhailov and Benoît Joachim.

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