Ten Dutch riders are taking part in this years Tour de France cycle race, the highest number in eight years, according to news agency ANP.
The 3,500 km event, which is always shown live on Dutch tv and followed very enthusiastically, kicks off in Brest, Britanny on Saturday.
Six of the Dutch riders are with the Rabobank team including two – Sébastian Langeveld and Laurens ten Dam – who are making their debut. A total of 20 teams, each with nine riders, are taking part in the race, which finishes on July 27.
Last year the Rabobank team sacked race leader Michael Rasmussen in the final week after it emerged that he had lied repeatedly about his whereabouts prior to the start of the event, giving rise to claims that he had avoided doping tests.
Meanwhile, the AD reports on Friday that the 2010 Tour de France will kick off in Rotterdam. Agreement on staging the grand start has been reached after Rotterdam agreed that the route will head down into the Zeeland province rather than focus on Zuid-Holland, the paper says.
A formal announcement will not be made until August.
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