June 06, 2007
Barloworld's core six announced
South Africa's Robbie Hunter will lead Barloworld in this year's Tour de France. The former Phonak sprinter will be joined by Italy's Fabrizio Guidi, Colombia's Felix Cardenas and Mauricio Soler, Alexander Efimkin of Russia, and 21-year-old Welshman Geraint Thomas.
Thomas was a track star, part of the four-man team that won gold in the 4k pursuit at this year's track world championships. He would become the first Welsh rider in the Tour since Colin Lewis in 1968.
Thomas may find himself with the least road experience of any rider in the 2007 Tour:
“I cannot imagine how big this is,” he sighed. “I was only 21 two weeks ago, and the average age of people in the Tour is 26 or 27.”
“But I will take this opportunity with both hands. I am not just going to sit back and take it easy. It will be unrealistic to go out and feel I can finish.”
“It’s 20 days racing and I have only done 10 back-to-back before.”
The team's final three will be chosen from 8 candidates a few days before the Tour begins.
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