icholas Roche and Philip Deignan look odds on to be squaring up to each other in next year’s Tour de France

Nicholas Roche and Philip Deignan look odds on to be squaring up to each other in next year’s Tour de France. But they’ll be on opposing teams and will be endeavouring for success with AG2r for Nicholas whilst Philip’s team Cerevelo will have as their leader Carlos Sastre the defending champion.
But as of now the big talk and chat is all about  seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who announced his comeback to cycling after a three-year hiatus earlier this year, and Alberto Contador, who has won all three of the sport’s major Tours. They will take part in an 8-day training session on the island of Tenerife for their team Astana this coming week with their eyes on the big picture come July.
But spare a thought for the Australian Cadel Evans who has admitted that his chances of winning the 2009 Tour de France have taken a hit because of the return of Lance and the strength of the Astana team.
You just have to check the press cuttings and see that Evans was isolated and worked over by the CSC team this year and he clearly fears a similar scenario next year with th  Astana team.
Speaking to the local press during a holiday at home in Australia, Evans admitted Astana was stronger than ever, whilst his team Silence-Lotto was clearly weaker.
“I think Lance’s return brought also with it quite a bit of budget to buy some good team-mates.”
“He has the resources and the capacity to put together a really good team and that’s what he’s done, which of course for us is hard to beat. Astana are far more well resourced than our team is.”
“During his years in the peloton, Armstrong was special. That was sort of the main thing and probably the most difficult thing to overcome racing against (Armstrong). He had the best team in the hundred-year history of the Tour de France,” said Evans who was the odds on favourite to win the tour, but the satchels belonging to the bookies were a lot heavier than expected when the Spaniard Sastre literally cruised home to victory in Paris in July.
The Ayustralian recently re-signed with Silence-Lotto for another two years, on the understanding that the team would be strengthened. Despite the arrival of Charle Wegelius a former Irish junior tour competitor, who has the where all to be able to help Evans in the mountains and on the climbs.
“It’s not going real good at the moment said the Aussie , perhaps already accepting it will be hard to beat Astana in the 2009 Tour de France.
But Roche and Deignan for the moment are quiet contented that they’ll be on the start line in the longer-than-usual 15km opening time trial around the streets of the millionaires’ paradise of Monte Carlo come July of next year.


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