By Jesper Johannesen, feltet.dk
At last Sunday's press conference, CSC team manager Bjarne Riis wasn't easy to get to talk about the roster for next year's Tour de France. But to the Danish newspaper Politiken, he revealed that there is currently a roster of 11 riders who will be battling for the nine spots: Ivan Basso, Carlos Sastre, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Fränk Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Jakob Piil, Bobby Julich, Giovanni Lombardi and David Zabriskie.
This means that it's likely that there'll be at most one Dane in the team, on the proviso that Piil manages to prove that he's worth a spot.
The German rider Jens Voigt reckons, though, that the battle for the nine spots will be even more open. "I don't think anyone can be certain to be picked out for the roster, except for Basso," said Voigt to Feltet.dk. "Looking at this year's Tour roster, none are excluded from the roster for next year's team, and all the riders will continue on the team in 2006."
In saying that, Voigt believes that Nicki Sørensen and Luke Roberts aren't excluded, even though they most likely would have difficulties in getting one of the spots. Furthermore, Sørensen is riding the Giro d'Italia in 2006.
"We also have a lot of new riders, who would like to ride the Tour, so there's really going to be a battle for the spots," continued Voigt. "Jakob Piil, for instance, who missed the Tour last year. And we've got riders like Marcus Ljunqvist, Karsten Kroon, Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady, who all rode the Tour last year. This means that we have five new riders who wants to be in the team for the Tour. I can't see anyone who certainly isn't riding the Tour, so nothing's a hundred percent sure. The same goes for my spot."
Voigt said that his arm is recovering, but doesn't want to take any chances, so therefore he won't be participating in all of the challenges at the survival/training camp.
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