Olympic time trial silver medalist Gustav Larsson was the odd man out at Saxo Bank as the Danish team revealed its Tour de France starting nine-man roster Tuesday.
Larsson won the final time trial stage at the Giro d’Italia last month, but team boss Bjarne Riis has decided to go with climbing ace Chris-Anker Sorensen instead, in what was the final spot on the team’s Tour roster.
“We have 10 riders on our team of which all are ready and fit to do the race and that has made the job of selecting the lineup extremely difficult. That’s why the decision has been made of tactical reasons,” Riis said. “It has been a problem of pure luxury but it’s not easy telling a rider to stay home when you know he would have done a great job in the race. However, we are now looking forward to a Tour de France with Team Saxo Bank in front of the race.”
Leading the team will be the Schleck brothers, with Fränk hot off overall victory at the Tour de Suisse and younger brother Andy hoping to give pre-race favorite Alberto Contador a run for his money in the overall GC battle.
Both Schleck brothers are candidates for overall victory, with Andy finishing second last year and Fränk fifth.
Fabian Cancellara will be the top favorite to claim the yellow jersey in the prologue in Rotterdam on July 3. The Olympic time trial champion was strong at the recent Swiss tour and will be gunning for what would be his fourth Tour in yellow.
Backing them up will be veterans Jens Voigt, Nicki Sørensen and Stuart O’Grady as well as Tour newbies Matti Breschel and Jacob Fuglsang.
Saxo Bank for Tour de France
- Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
- Andy Schleck (Lux)
- Fränk Schleck (Lux)
- Jens Voigt (Ger)
- Stuart O’Grady (Aus)
- Matti Breschel (Den)
- Chris Anker Sørensen (Den)
- Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
- Nicki Sørensen (Den)