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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
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TEAM PROFILE
Tyler Hamilton leads his team during the team time trial at last year's race
Country: Denmark
Manager: Bjarne Riis
Team leader:
Best Tour: 2001, Laurent Jalabert 19th; 2001-2, Jalabert king of the mountains
The king of the mountains jersey was the team's sole prize in 2002, courtesy of then team leader Laurent Jalabert.

Jalabert has since retired from the team but not before passing on his vast experience to a still essentially young team.

Team boss Bjarne Riis, the 1996 winner of the race, has been distracted in the build-up to the event by a host of financial problems which have since been sorted out.

The team also suffered an early blow ahead of the season start when Riis failed in his bid to sign former team-mate and 1997 race winner Jan Ullrich.

Ullrich's decision to join Team Bianchi (formerly Coast) was a big blow to Riis, but the great Dane is still confident he has the riders to impress some of the more established teams.

Carlos Sastre was the team's top finisher last year, just creeping into the top 10, almost 20 minutes behind winner Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong's former right-hand man, Tyler Hamilton, also impressed in 15th, while Nicky Sorensen was 20th.

And Hamilton looks likeliest to cause a stir overall this time around.

Riis did well to poach him from US Postal, where he was one of Armstrong's key assistants.

He lived up to his much-publicised switch when he finished second to Paolo Savoldelli in the 2001 Giro d'Italia, less than two minutes back.

And this season he has regularly cropped up at the front of the peloton, most notably with his surprise victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege World Cup classic.

Whether the American has it in him to be competitive in another grand tour is another matter.

Michael Blaudzun is still the team's best homegrown talent while Italy's Andrea Peron and Tristan Hoffman, from Holland, are the other major contenders.





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