Both Schlecks in but Chris Horner out of RadioShack-Nissan Tour de France pre-selection
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Both Schlecks in but Chris Horner out of RadioShack-Nissan Tour de France pre-selection

by Ben Atkins at 2:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Back injury forces American veteran to miss out on what could be his final Grand Boucle

frank schleck

The Luxembourg-registered RadioShack-Nissan team has announced its fourteen-man pre-selection for this year’s Tour de France. Heading the list is four-time World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara, whom team manager Johan Bruyneel has said is the only rider guaranteed a place, but most of the team’s big names are also present on the long list.

Despite the very public spat that followed his early exit from the Giro d’Italia, Luxembourg champion Fränk Schleck has made the list and so, despite his poor form so far this season, has younger brother Andy, who was recently crowned the winner of the 2010 edition.

The big name missing from the list however, is that of 40-year-old veteran Chris Horner, who has been suffering from back problems in recent weeks.

"He's still suffering from a back injury," RadioShack-Nissan's press officer Tim Vanderjeugd confirmed to VeloNation. "That's also why he's not in [the Tour de] Suisse."

So far this season, Horner has finished second in Tirreno-Adriatico, ninth in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, and supported the Schleck brothers in the Ardennes Classics, but his condition meant he could only manage eighth in his attempt to defend his Tour of California title. Many feel that, even at 40, Horner has unfinished business at the Tour, having finished ninth in 2010 - despite riding much of the race in service of Lance Armstrong - and being forced out last year with concussion.

Included however, perhaps in place of Horner, is Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang. The 27-year-old was due to lead the team at the Giro d’Italia before a knee injury forced him out, and he was replaced by Fränk Schleck. He will likely be pressed into the service of the Schlecks in France however, should he make the final line up.

Also on the list is two-time Tour runner up Andreas Klöden, as well as 40-year-old Jens Voigt who, having been born five weeks before Horner, is the oldest rider in the UCI WorldTour. Along with those two veteran Germans, the team’s regular workers Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast and Haimar Zubeldia are included, as well as - what is a rarity in Bruyneel’s Tour teams - a sprinter in the form of Frenchman Tony Gallopin.

The team’s final nine-man roster will be announced in the week beginning June 18th.

RadioShack-Nissan preselection for the Tour de France
Fabian Cancellara, Jakob Fuglsang, Tony Gallopin, Linus Gerdemann, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, Hayden Roulston, Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck, Jens Voigt and Haimar Zubeldia


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