Shorts: Valverde, Phonak, Quick Step

Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde stretches his ProTour lead, Phonak name riders from nine diffe

Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde stretches his ProTour lead, Phonak name riders from nine diffe

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After the recent Tour of Switzerland and Eindhoven team time trial events, Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde retains a convincing lead in the ProTour standings. After picking up a handful of points at the Dauphin Libr, the Spaniard extended his advantage over Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso to 57 points, with Quick Step's Tom Boonen another half a dozen points behind the Italian. CSC's victory at Eindhoven and Jan Ullrich's win for T-Mobile in Switzerland kept those two squads at the top of the team rankings, where CSC hold a 21-point advantage over T-Mobile.

1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 195
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC 138
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 132
4 Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC 120
5 Jrg Jaksche (Ger) Astana-Wrth 110
6 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre 105
7 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile 90
8 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel 89
9 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) CSC 87
10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 86

Teams:

1 CSC 227
2 T-Mobile 206
3 Phonak 202
4 Caisse D'Epargne 200
5 Discovery Channel 195

- Phonak have achieved what is thought to be an unprecedented achievement by selecting riders from nine different nations for the Tour de France. Their team comprises Floyd Landis (USA), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Robert Hunter (SA), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa), Axel Merckx (Bel), Koos Moerenhout (Hol), Alexandre Moos (Swi) and Victor Hugo Pe¤a (Col).

- Quick Step's Tour de France nine cover just six nations. They are led by Belgian world champion Tom Boonen, with Wilfried Cretskens (Bel), Steven de Jongh (Hol), Juan Manuel Garate (Spa), Filippo Pozzato (Ita), Jos Rujano (Ven), Bram Tankink (Hol), Matteo Tosatto (Ita) and Cdric Vasseur (Fra). Team directors will be Wilfried Peeters, Luca Guercilena, and the four reserve riders are Nick Nuyens, Guido Trenti, Kevin van Impe and Geert Verheyen.

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