HTC-Columbia enters the 2010 Tour de France with an ambitious agenda of chasing the green jersey with Mark Cavendish and a strong showing on GC with Michael Rogers.
To remain focused on the quest for the green jersey, German sprinter ace André Greipel was left off the team’s nine-man Tour squad, but Cavendish should see plenty of support from the likes of Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel.
“Selecting the team was very hard for us again this year,” said HTC-Columbia team manager Rolf Aldag. “It was hard enough selecting a long list of 15, but to bring it down to only nine riders involved some very difficult decisions. In the end we have to leave at home several riders who also deserve a chance to ride the Tour.
“Our decisions were based on two goals,” he added. “First, we wanted a strong team to support Mark Cavendish and winning the green jersey. To win, we need to concentrate all points with one sprinter. As a result we have not included André Greipel in the roster. Mark won six stages of the Tour de France last year and we have faith that he will be highly successful in the 2010 Tour. Renshaw, Eisel, Grabsch and Hansen will be the main support for the sprint stages with of course the other riders also playing a part in the leadout train as well.”
Aldag said the team is also bolstering its GC push, in large part thanks to the revival enjoyed this year by Rogers, who won the Ruta del Sol and the Tour of California with panache. The stage-race overall victories mark the first by Rogers in five years.
“Second, we wanted to field a team who can focus on the overall. Rogers has had the best season of his career to date and is very focused on contending in the general classification,” Aldag said. “Tony Martin comes off a very successful Tour de Suisse where he held the yellow jersey for the first part of the race and won the closing time trial, making him the first person to beat Fabian Cancellara in a time trial in three years.
“They will be supported by Maxime Monfort, who showed excellent form at Tour de Suisse, Adam Hansen, who won the Ster Elektro stage race last weekend and Kanstantsin Sivtsov who is a tireless worker on both flat and mountainous terrain.”
HTC-Columbia for 2010 Tour de France