Originally Posted by Smoothie104
Tour team members are selected by their strengths and weaknesses. Past results are nice, but mean nothing if you are not riding well when it counts. Pena was quite tired during the 3rd week of the tour last year, and Postal was looking for someone who would be a bit stronger near the end of the tour. The route also dictates as to who comes along.
Past glory doesn't count for much, and neither do friendly favors, at least not at this level. It's all business
Actually, Pena finished the TDF quite strongly last year, finishing 7th in the final 49km TT, 3rd best time on the USPS team behind Ekimov. His non-selection this year was unexplained.
Noval's selection was explained as, "He was the most prepared/fit." Probably through no fault of his own, or perhaps because he's young and never ridden a TDF before, Noval's had problems so far. First, he got caught behind the crash in stage 3, and then he lost alot of time on stage 4, probably suffering the effects of his crash. Its hard to say for sure what the causes of his problems have been, but right now he is the weak link on the team, even if it is through no fault of his own.