Discovery roster announced, with video

Discovery has announced their roster for this year's Tour and there's even a Race2Replace Webisode with Bruyneel. The riders are:

  • George Hincapie
  • Jose Azevedo
  • Yaroslav Popovych
  • Paolo Savoldelli
  • Egoi Martinez
  • Pavel Padrnos
  • Viatcheslav Ekimov
  • Benjamin Noval
  • Jose Luis Rubiera

Gusev and Barry are the reserves. I would have liked to see Barry on this list, but I imagine his crash earlier this year at the Tour of Flanders hurt his preparation and chances.

The roster is a difficult mix to figure out. Hincapie is the official team leader, but Bruyneel discusses four riders he thinks could be on the podium: Hincapie, Azevedo, Popovych, and Savoldelli, though he discounts Savoldelli's chances due to the Giro. They can't all be the protected rider, but without Lance in the lineup Discovery might be able to get away with sitting back in the pack and letting CSC and T-Mobile do all the work. I would discount Azevedo's podium chances mainly due to the two long time trials involved in this year's Tour (52km Stage 7 and 56km stage 19), leaving Hincapie and Popovych as potential podium finishers in my mind. If I had to bet money, I'd put more money on Popovych, though his poor Dauphine Libere showing says otherwise. I could see Popovych riding this year's Tour a bit like Vino, putting in a suprise attack here or there to snag a stage victory.

related articles: Tour de France 2006

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