Does anyone know if there's a definitive list of starters for this year's tour, or, if not, when it will be published? I can only find the teams on the official site.
Not all the teams have finalised their start lists yet - some have named the full 9 men in their teams, some have only named six definite starters, and a couple: Agritubel and Quick Step haven't even named that many yet. It won't be long though
No Samuel Sanchez?
Appears not http://road.cc/content/news/5278-tour-de-france-teams-round
Astana look strong. I wonder where valverde goes from here...can you be a team leader/recognised rider if you cant ride in many prestigious races? How would the sponsors and team feel about paying big bucks to a rider that effectively cant ride in 2 major tours.
Yes that's what I was basing my comment on, seems strange considering his performance last year but may be that his form this season doesn't warrant inclusion.
Well, Valverde can ride in the Vuelta, his home Tour, and he rides for a Spanish team, so the sponsors probably still feel they are getting their money's worth, if his ban isn't extended and the Tour doesn't go to Italy next year he will be free to ride that too.
In fact, if his ban were not extended by the UCI it would presumably be on the grounds that the evidence was not strong enough - in which case CONI might have a problem making the Italian ban stick.
Anyway I think the feeling is that the seven day stage race is his real strength - he won the Dauphiné don't forget, a win the propelled his team to the top of the UCI world rankings.