Charly Wegelius has been confirmed as part of Liquigas line-up for the Tour de France. He will be Britain?s fifth professional in the race.
Wegelius forms part of a squad to be led by former Milan-San Remo winner Filippo Pozzato. Veteran Spanish climber Manuel Beltran and Italian Manuel Quinziato are the other two leaders.
The other Tour riders for Liquigas will be Michael Albasani, Kjell Calstrom, Murilo Fischer, Alianksandr Kuchynski and Frederik Willems. Magnus Backstedt, who could well have expected to form part of the line-up after winning the Swedish National Championships, is not part of the Liquigas Tour line-up.
This will be Wegelius? second major Tour in 2007 after he formed a key part of the Liquigas squad in the Giro D?Italia, pulling out close to Milan after he fell sick. Although he has several participations in the Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain to his name, the British climber has never raced in the Tour de France before.
?The great thing is that we?ve already got a Tour of Italy win and a victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the bag this year.? Wegelius told CW. ?So we?re not under such pressure to get results. Beltran was riding strongly in the Dauphine so could do a good ride overall, but as a team we will be on the hunt for stage wins.?
Wegelius has not ridden in any races at all since the Giro, but points out that given the high mountains ? his speciality – do not start out until the end of the first week he will have some margin to fine-tune his form.