American riders a rare sight at this year’s tour?

June 12, 2007

Levi Leipheimer is having a good year and barring a disaster in the Dauphine Libere he will lead the Discovery Channel team at this year’s Tour de France.  In addition, George Hincape will also be there to help his team captain.  After that, how many Americans will be wearing team kits in London on July 7th?

Tom Danielson has had a poor season and just dropped out of the Dauphine Libere with a stomach problem.  That virus may have also cost him a Tour spot as Discovery has a strong team.

Also facing the dynamics of a strong team are CSC Americans Bobby Julich and Dave Zabrickie.  Bobby has had a quiet season and may need a good showing at the Dauphine to make the squad.  Dave Z’s good showing at the Giro may help his chances but do you need two time trialists?  Fabian Cancellara can win the TT but is also a better all around rider.  With Fabian, Stuart O’Grady, JJ Haedo, Frank and Andy Schleck, Jens Voight, Carlos Sastre most likely on the roster, there is not much room left for the three Americans on CSC. Christian Vande Velde being the third. 

T-Mobile’s Michael Barry may not get the nod even though fellow American Bob Stapleton is putting the roster together.

Possible the best chance is in Predictor-Lotto where Chris Horner and Fred Rodriguez have been solid helpers to Cadel Evans and Robbie McEwen respectivley.

Will the desire to put some American faces in the Tour de France to attract American viewers be enough to sway some Directors during these next few weeks?  Who knows.