Phonak had aimed this season to get into the world's top 10 and they have already achieved that goal with some impressive rides and acquisitions.
They snapped up Oscar Sevilla and Tyler Hamilton in the close season and look set to have a proper crack at the Tour.
Sevilla remains too frail to realistically pose a major threat on the overall leaders.
But Hamilton could yet be in his best ever position to cause a stir after his second place in the Dauphine Libere.
Hamilton had been heavily fancied at last year's Tour but broke his collarbone. Remarkably he rode on with the injury, won a stage and finally finished fourth overall.
That was at CSC and he believes the switch gives him a better chance to pose a threat to former team-mate Lance Armstrong's bid for a record sixth consecutive win.
Oscar Camenzind and Nicolas Jalabert add further strength in depth to the team's cause.
But experience could count against the team, who have never ridden the Tour.