August 16, 2004 – US Postal-Berry Floor, the number one team in the world, have underlined their commitment to participation in The Tour of Britain cycle race by announcing a six man team that includes three of the riders that helped Lance Armstrong to his record-breaking sixth win in the Tour de France this year.
Having won the Team Time Trial in the Tour de France for the last two years, they will be determined to show their mettle in the Tour of Britain. The Portuguese rider Jose Azevedo was fifth overall in France and is in prime form. Jose Luis Rubiera, voted the most valuable domestique, took 19th place and his compatriot, Benjamin Noval, a talented climber and time triallist, finished a creditable 66th overall. They both played a full part in the team’s efforts to bring home their leader, Armstrong, in first place.
American Antonio Cruz is a US Criterium champion and he showed that he can compete with the best when he won his first European race when he took the second stage of the Tour de L’Ain in Oyonnax, France on August 11. Michael Creed, also from the States, has been national Under 23 champion on two occasions and is regarded as one of the most accomplished young cyclists on the circuit. Jurgen Van Den Broeck, from Belgium, is in his first year as a professional but is extremely talented and was the first Belgian to win the Junior Time Trial Championships in 2001. The victory by Cruz was the team’s 27th of the year.
Tour of Britain Event Director, Tony Doyle MBE, comments: “Having so many quality riders from the top teams in the world is a tremendous boost for the Tour of Britain and it should excite all sports fans, not just the dedicated supporters of cycling. By declaring this kind of team US Postal have thrown down the gauntlet to the other teams.”