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Wednesday, 28 June, 2000, 12:06 GMT
Tour 2000: Stage win hopefuls
Motorbike and Peloton
The field is full of men capable of springing a surprise
In addition to the specialists there are plenty of the world's other top riders coming to the start line.

They may not specifically be climbers or sprinters and their hopes of overall victory may be slim.

But you can be sure that these men - all of them ranked in the world top 40 - have something up their sleeves in the race for a piece of Tour glory.

Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola Ranked 7th in the world

Consistent Latvian all-rounder with strong placings in many races but few massive wins.

He rides for the team which also possesses the current world no 1, Francesco Casagrande, who is sitting out the Tour after a gruelling Tour of Italy.

Vainsteins' aim will probably be a strong overall placing, but as a durable rider with a good sprint, a more realistic target might be a stage win or two.

Marcus Zberg (Swi) Rabobank
Ranked 9th


Marcus Zberg
Will Zberg get to celebrate on the Tour?
Like Vainsteins, Zberg's all-round performances have taken him into the world's top 10.

At the Tour he is likely to ride in support of Michael Boogerd, but do not rule out a breakaway stage win.

Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei
Ranked 10th


Paolo Bettini
Bettini will be expected to support others
Moved out of long-time ally Michele Bartoli's shadow by winning the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classic in April.

If he rides the Tour he will be a dedicated support man for Bartoli and Daniele Nardello, and personal ambitions may have to come second.

Alexandre Vinoukorov (Kaz) Telekom
Ranked 63rd

In many other teams the Kazahh would be a leader aiming for overall victory.


Alexandre Vinoukorov
Able deputy should plans change
His win in the Dauphine Libere last year included a strong performance over Mont Ventoux, and he is a potential Tour winner of the future.

His job this year will be to support Jan Ullrich, and step into the breach as leader if necessary.

Daniele Nardello (Ita) Mapei
Ranked 28th

Finished seventh at last year's Tour, but even with the backing of the world's richest team it is hard to see Nardello making up all of the 17 minutes he was adrift of first place.


Daniele Nardello
Nardello will aim to push ahead on the hills
To be fair he lost nearly two of of those minutes waiting for team-mate Pavel Tonkov last year and then nearly as much when he had to change a bike during a time trial.

For the team Nardello is a fantastic alternative to the new Italian champion Michele Bartoli, he is sure to animate the mountain stages.

Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina
Ranked 35th

France's finest time triallist is one of the few survivors from the Festina affair of 1998.

Has the ability to get into the top five of the tests against the watch but is an outsider for the win in either stage.

Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole
Ranked 40th

The German is a popular rider amongst his English-speaking team-mates.

A powerful time triallist and a brave opportunist, he is surely set for a stage win in the Tour at some stage in his career.

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See also:

28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
Tour 2000: Young stars
28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
David Millar: Britain's new hope
28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
Tour 2000: Web links
28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
Past, present and future
28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
Stage Two in Pictures
28 Jun 00 |  Tour de France
Scenes from the Tour
Links to top Tour de France stories are at the foot of the page.

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