Astana name six for Tour
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Astana name six for Tour

by Agence France-Presse at 12:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Astana on Friday named six of the nine riders who will battle for overall and stage glory in next month's Tour de France, where Alberto Contador of Spain will start as the yellow jersey favourite.

Contador, the 2007 champion, will be joined in Astana's team by seven-time winner Lance Armstrong, Andreas Kloden, Levi Leipheimer, Yaroslav Popovych and Haimar Zubeldia. The remaining three riders will be picked from Jani Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Benjamin Noval, Dmitriy Muravyev, Sergio Paulinho, Gregory Rast and Tomas Vaitkus.

"The complete 2009 Tour roster will be chosen based on the strongest team from both a sportive and team-spirit criteria," said Astana's General Manager, Johan Bruyneel. Astana will be making their return to the race following their absence in 2008 after organisers did not invite them.

After his 2007 triumph Contador, in 2008, concentrated on cycling's two other main three-week races, the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Spain, winning both.The Tour de France begins with a time trial in Monaco on July 4 and ends in Paris on July 26.

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