After lots of speculation about his level of preparation for the TdF, last weekend Jan Ullrich won the Tour of Switzerland. I hope that Ullrich and the T-Mobile team do well as that will make the race much more interesting.

Meanwhile, Ivan Basso will have a very strong team supporting his bid to win the Tour and seems to be peaking at the right time.  His CSC team has enough bench strength that they are excluding riders like Fabian Cancellera who recently won the Paris-Roubaix!  For those keeping track, there are 3 riders from the US on the team: Bobby Julich, David Zabriske and Christian Vande Velde.

The race between these two will likely come down to Ullrich's advantage in the time trials versus Basso's strength in the mountains.

Discovery Channel has a strong team too.  Discovery's coach, Johan Bruyneel, didn't come out saying that the team would be riding in support of George Hincapie - just that "we can have at least one of our riders finish in a top placing in Paris." Hincapie is the sole US rider for Discovery's Tdf bid and seems like the likely leader.

I'm looking forward to the start of the Tour de France on Canada Day (July 1st) as it will be wide open racing with no overall dominant figure like Armstrong to keep things in control.