Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tour de France 2013: Team Rosters

With the Tour de France less than two weeks away teams are finalising their rosters for the race and it's a good idea to keep an eye on just who is going to be riding this year. It's difficult to find the information all in one place until the release of the official start-list so this post will be kept updated and refreshed with all the latest team rosters and some of them make for interesting reading...

Here are the rosters that have been made public so far and I few notes on who to look out for and why:

Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Marcel Kittel, Koen de Kort, Albert Timmer and Tom Veelers. Again Argos-Shimano head to France with one sole aim - stage victories. It's no surprise but another year passes without any GC ambitions for the squad as the team is built around Sprinters John Degenkolb and Marcel Kittel.

Lars Boom, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink, Tom Leezer, Bauke Mollema, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Bram Tankink, Sep Vanmarcke and Maarten Wynants. In comparison to Argos-Shimano Blanco have built their team with the focus firmly on General Classification. Bauke Mollema is the official team leader but look out for ten Dam and Robert Gesink too. Just as interestingly there is no sign of Theo Boss of Mark Renshaw - I wonder if the Aussie Sprinter regrets his move away from Mark Cavendish now...

Omega Pharma-Quickstep
Mark Cavendish, Sylvain Chavanel, Michal Kwiatkowski, Tony Martin, Jerome Pineau, Gert Steegmans, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin, Peter Velits. Talking of the Manxman - he's certainly going to feel a little more relaxed this year - Mark Cavendish no longer Sky's second fiddle once again he receives a team built around him and his battle for stage wins though there are plenty of riders in this team who may well have their own days too: Chavanel, Martin, Terpstra will all be capable of stage wins and Michal Kwiatkowski could prove to be a revalation in the Mountains once again.

Jakob Fuglsang, Assan Bazayev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrei Grivko, Jacopo Guarnieri, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Alexey Lutsenko, Dmitriy Muravyev, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Egor Silin. The pressure is off for the Astana team as they already have a Grand Tour to their name this year but Jakob Fuglsang won't let that stop him trying to make it two. The Dane is the nominated team leader and has based his whole year around the Tour and he looks to be coming in to some good form finishing fourth overall at this years Dauphine.

Lars Bak, Jurgen van den Broeck, Bart de Clercq, Andre Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Jurgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Frederik Willems. Jurgen van den Broeck is undoubtedly team leader for Lotto at this years Tour de France but they will be fighting hard on the sprint front too with Andre Greipel in excellent form. Jurgen Roelandts will be on the lookout for a stage win somewhere along the line too...

Orica GreenEdge
Michael Albasini, Simon Clarke, Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss, Daryl Impey, Brett Lancaster, Cameron Meyer, Stuart O'Grady and Svein Tuft. A team clearly on the the hunt for Stage wins with Matt Goss looking to contest the sprints while riders like Simon Gerrans can look for victories elsewhere. Note Stuart O'Grady will equal George Hincapies record of 17 Tour de France starts too and he may look to cap it off with a stage win.

Peter Sagan, Maciej Bodnar, Kristijan Koren, Alessandro De Marchi, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini, Moreno Moser, Ted King and Brian Vandborg. Its all about Peter Sagan for Cannondale and his eyes are firmly set on the Green Jersey whilst rising star Moreno Moser makes his Grand Tour debut and he will be one to watch for some technical stage wins too.

Jan Bakelants, Laurent Didier, Tony Gallopin, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia. Andy Schleck once again manages to secure himself team-leader status but with his current form and a tough year just gone it's hard to see him accomplish anything in the General Classification. Luckily it's a team with several other strong riders he might out-shine him - Kloden and Montfort are more than capable of achieving some good results and stage wins from Voigt and Gallopin are also on the cards.

Alberto Contador, Michael Rogers, Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Matteo Tosatto, Daniele Bennati, Sergio Paulinho, Jesus Hernandez, Benjamin Noval. Contador brings and extremely strong climbing team to the table this year with loyal domestique and friend Jesus Hernandez being joined by Rogers, Kreuziger and Roche - all capable of decent Grand Tour finishes themselves while powerhouses like Paulinho will make the mountain train bombproof and Benjamin Noval will act as bodyguard using his massive frame to keep Contador out of any trouble on the flat stuff. Saxo-Tinkoff are a Danish registered team and have come under criticism - There are no Danish riders in the squad, most notably missing is Chris Anker Sorrenson who is undoubtedly a very strong rider - but this year the emphasis is obviously on Contador and as such the team needs to be built around him especially if he has any chance of overhauling Sky's men.

Team Sky
Christopher Froome, Richie Porte, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Peter Kennaugh, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas. As predicted Chris Froome arrives in France with an extremely strong squad including best friend and right hand man Richie Porte who could be quids in for a podium spot. Kennaugh, Thomas, Lopez and Kiryienka provide the backbone of Froomes mountain train whilst Siutsou and Stannard provide some solid shelter on the flat. Boasson Hagen has come in to some recent good form and may find an opportunity for a stage win.

Kris Boeckmans, Juan Antonio Flecha, Thomas De Gendt, Johnny Hoogerland, Sergey Lagutin, Wout Poels, Boy van Poppel, Danny van Poppel, Lieuwe Westra. Stage wins will be order of the day for Vacansoleil who bring a talented squad with the likes of Westra and Hoogerland who is famed for his suicide solo attacks. Watch out for Thomas De Gendt though - he could be well up the order come the race finish.

Yoann Bagot, Jerome Coppel, Egoitz Garcia, Christophe Le Mevel, Luis Angel Mate, Rudy Molard, Dani Navarro, Rein Taaramae. Cofidis bring their usual French orientated squad but there are some good names in there. Watch out for Coppel, Le Mevel, Taaramae and of course Dani Navarro who has proven his climbing ability and ambition over the last couple of months.

There are other teams that have announced a select number of riders though I won't comment on these until the full list is announced - but I will say things are looking up for French cycling with some good new names riding the Tour this year. Equally BMC have announce a 'long list' whilst Garmin-Sharp will deliberately pick their roster very late to try and get the most from those looking for a spot.

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