Tom Danielson will be at the head of affairs in the Discovery Channel Vuelta a España team, after the nine man roster was named today. Along with Danielson will be Michael Barry, Manuel Beltrán, Janez Brajkovic, Stijn Devolder, Vladimir Gusev, Benoît Joachim, Egoi Martinez and Jurgen Van Goolen, with Volodymyr Bileka and Gennady Mikhaylov as reserves.
Team manager Johan Bruyneel described the team balance, saying, "Selecting this team was not easy for me as we have a lot of guys that are riding very strong at the moment, but I feel that we have a very solid team in place that will work well together. Tom Danielson is set to be our leader for this race and I believe he has prepared very well. With the team that we have to support him I am confident that he will be able to finish very high up in the overall classification."
The team is looking at improving their two previous grand tours in 2006, where they wore the leader’s jersey and won stages in both races. The Vuelta squad has a number of riders that have had individual success throughout the season.
Michael Barry: 2nd place Eindhoven Team Time Trial, 3rd place stage & 3rd place overall Sachsen Tour.
Manuel Beltrán: 2nd place stage and King of the Mountains at Castilla y Leon & 4th place overall at Tour de l'Ain.
Janez Brajkovic: 5th place overall and Best Young Rider at Tour de Georgia, 3rd place on stage and 5th place overall at Tour of Catalunya & 4th place stage and 5th place overall at Tour de Suisse.
Tom Danielson: 1st place on stage, 2nd place on stage and 2nd place overall at Tour de Georgia & 2nd place on stage, 3rd place on stage and overall winner at Tour of Austria.
Stijn Devolder: 3rd place on stage at 3 Days of DePanne, 1st place on stage at Tour of Belgium & 2nd place overall at Eindhoven Team Time Trial.
Vladimir Gusev: 4th place (later disqualified) at Paris-Roubaix, 2nd place overall at Eindhoven Team Time Trial & 1st place on stage, 4th place overall and Best Young Rider at Tour of Germany.
Benoît Joachim: 2nd place overall at Eindhoven Team Time Trial & 1st place at Luxembourg National Time Trial Championships.
Egoi Martinez: 3rd place in a stage at Castilla y Leon, 2nd place overall at Eindhoven Team Trial, 3rd place on stage at Dauphine Libéré & Most Aggressive rider on stage 4 at Tour de France.
Jurgen Van Goolen: 2nd place on stage at Tour de Suisse.
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