Euskaltel and Saxo Bank teams announce their Tour pre-selection
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Euskaltel and Saxo Bank teams announce their Tour pre-selection

by Conal Andrews at 9:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

Disregarding the fact that the Tour de France is over seven months away and much can happen between now and then, the Euskaltel Euskadi and Saxo Bank teams have taken the unusual step of announcing which riders are in contention for a place in the final lineup.

Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez has been designated the team leader for the Basque Euskaltel Euskadi squad. He will be joined by Egoi Martinez, Rubén Pérez, Gorka Verdugo and Amets Txurruka as certainties, while Aitor Hernandez, Inaki Isasi, Juanjo Oroz, Alan Pérez and Iban Velasco are on the list of likely riders. Three reserves have been named; Koldo Fernandez, Benat Intxausti and Romain Sicard, the world under 23 champion.

Saxo Bank will back the Schleck brothers Andy and Frank while, as expected, world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara will also travel to Rotterdam for the start. The others named for the preselection include Stuart O'Grady, Jens Voigt, Gustav Larsson, Matti Breschel, Jacob Fuglsang, Nicki Sorensen and Chris Anker Sørensen.

The latter four are all Danish riders and Riis described them as “promising and positive. I cannot guarantee that all four will go, but there is a chance that they will,” he told TV2 Sport. “They are worthy candidates. They would be able to be part of any Tour team.”

The Saxo Bank team is likely to be one of the strongest in the race and this year’s runner-up, Andy Schleck, is tipped by many as a future winner of the event.

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