American team Garmin-Sharp will ride into the Tour de France on Saturday without a clear leader but with one of the deepest rosters in the race’s 100th edition. The squad became the final of 22 teams to confirm its roster on Wednesday and Ryder Hesjedal, Daniel Martin, and Andrew Talansky will headline the nine-man unit in France.
Hesjedal, the 2012 Giro d’Italia champion, comes to the Tour after battling illness in his Giro title defense and crashing out of the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. Along with Christian Vande Velde and Tom Danielson, each of whom boast top-10 Tour results to their palmares, Hesjedal pulled Garmin to the team classification title in 2011.
Martin is the reigning Liège-Bastogne-Liège champion and won the Volta a Catalunya earlier this season. The Irishman is a threat for a stage win and an outside contender for the top 10 on GC.
After a mixed early season, which included second overall at Paris-Nice and 16th at the Tour de Romandie, Talansky will make his Tour debut. The 24-year-old American will ride with no pressure, but with a lot of hope.
Rounding out the nine-man roster are Australian Rohan Dennis, who led the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, Giro stage winner Ramunas Navardauskas, multiple grand tour stage winner David Millar, and Tour rookie Jack Bauer, who placed 11th overall in the Santos Tour Down Under in January.
Left off the squad is American sprinter Tyler Farrar, who won a stage at the 2011 Tour on July 4.
“We have a deep team with a lot of options as we head into the Centennial Tour de France,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said in a press release. “Our goal is to animate the race and with an aggressive strategy, we will aim to place high in the general classification.
“We have a few guys capable of achieving that — Ryder’s won a Grand Tour and placed in the top 10 of the Tour de France; Andrew is young and while it’s his first Tour de France, he is coming off a great season; and Dan Martin is having a breakout year with his wins in Catalunya and Liege-Baston-Liege,” Vaughters added. “We will protect our best GC options and see how the race shakes out. Our approach is a little unconventional, but we’ve managed to come up with surprises every year at the Tour and we’re hoping for the same as we head into Corsica.”
The 100th Tour de France starts Saturday, June 29 on the island of Corsica.
Vaughters told VeloNews last week that his job of finalizing the roster was far from easy.
“I am the one who’s making the final call, but man it’s hard.”
Garmin-Sharp for the 2013 Tour de France
Jack Bauer (NZL)
Tom Danielson (USA)
Rohan Dennis (AUS)
Ryder Hesjedal (CAN)
Daniel Martin (IRL)
David Millar (GBR)
Ramunas Navardauskas (LIT)
Andrew Talansky (USA)
Christian Vande Velde (USA)