Mercado & Jalabert to lead Agritubel

by Antonio J. Salmerón

The Agritubel team will be led in 2007 by Juan Miguel Mercado, winner of two Tour de France stages, and Nicholas Jalabert, whose Phonak team was disbanded. The French squad also include six Spanish riders, including the sprinter Mikel Gaztañaga and Moisés Dueñas, who won this year's Tour de l'Avenir. Agritubel will have 21 riders for 2007, and will focus on more success in the Tour de France. Agritubel started the Tour de France this year as a wild-card team, where Benoît Salmon was their top finisher in 39th place overall, and Mercado won stage 10.

New signings: Emilien-Benoît Berges (Fra), Freddy Bichot (Fra), Romain Feillu (Fra), Mikel Gaztanaga (Spa), Cédric Hervé (Fra), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), Freddy Ravaleu (Fra), Anthony Ravard (Fra)

Returning: Christophe Agnolutto (Fra), Stéphane Berges (Fra), Mickaël Buffaz (Fra), Gilles Canouet (Fra), Nicolas Crosbie (Fra), Benjamin Johnson (Aus), Christophe Laurent (Fra), Lenaic Olivier (Fra), Saulius Ruskys (Lit)

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