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T-Mobile and Menikini-Gysko for tougher Tour de l'Aude

The Menikini-Gysko and T-Mobile squads have announced the riders they will send to the Tour de l'Aude, the longest stage race on the women's calendar. The 10 stage event gets underway tomorrow with an individual time trial in Gruissan and T-Mobile coach Petra Rosner believes the girls are in for an event like no other.

"It's longer and tougher than any other race currently on the women's calendar," noted Rosner, who has contested the event 17 times herself, on the team's website. "It used to be second hardest after the women's Tour de France, but now it occupies that space on its own."

The German women's squad has appointed an all-star line up for the grueling race, including Judith Arndt, Ina Teutenberg and Linda Villumsen.

"Judith is our best climber and our GC push will be focused on her," said T-Mobile sporting director Anna Wilson. "She has an awesome track record at the tour, and I think some of the very long and hard stages offer the best chance for her to make her move."

The Menikini - Selle Italia - Gysko squad is hoping to build on a successful season so far at the French women's race. The team, directed by Walter Zini, will however miss the strength of Australian Rochelle Gilmore who, along with Elodie Touffet, will be absent from the race due to a conflicting event in the United States.

Menikini-Gysko roster: Fabiana Luperini, Sigrid Corneo, Silvia Valsecchi, Olivia Gollan, Miho Oki, and Dorthe Rasmussen.

T-Mobile roster: Kim Anderson, Judith Arndt, Suzanne de Goede, Ina Teutenberg, Linda Villumsen, and Anke Wichman.