PARIS (AFP) — Two-time champion Alberto Contador of Spain will headline Saxo-Tinkoff at the Tour de France, which starts on June 29, the squad announced on Wednesday.
The Spaniard won the three-week grand tour in 2007 and 2009, but was stripped of a third victory (2010) for doping.
Sky’s Chris Froome, the runner-up behind teammate Bradley Wiggins last year and one of the favorites this time around, said on Tuesday that he viewed Contador as his biggest threat.
“We enter this year’s Tour de France with the objective to win the race with Alberto,” Saxo’s sports director Philippe Mauduit said.
“So obviously we’ve tried to pick the riders that fit the best to our overall goal, and we’ve tried to identify and bring together the competencies needed in the team to give Alberto the best possible support and protection over the three weeks on both flat roads and hectic finals, the hilly terrain, the mountains and the time trials.”
Mauduit added: “We believe we have come up with a really strong lineup, a great all-round team with a lot of valuable grand tour experience.”
Saxo-Tinkoff for the 2013 Tour de France
Michael Rogers (AUS)
Roman Kreuziger (CZE)
Nicolas Roche (IRL)
Matteo Tosatto (ITA)
Daniele Bennati (ITA)
Sergio Paulinho (POR)
Alberto Contador (ESP)
Jesus Hernandez (ESP)
Benjamin Noval (ESP)