Saxo-Tinkoff announces roster for 2013 Tour de France
"On a personal level it has been a tough decision for me to not have a Danish rider in the lineup," team owner Bjarne Riis of Denmark said in a team statement.
"But we have committed ourselves to go with the group we believe has the best composition to achieve our overall goal."
In that regard, Spaniard Contador, who missed last year's race because he was suspended for doping in the previous edition, will be very well supported.
Australian Rogers was Team Sky's road captain when Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France last year, while solid climbers Czech Kreuziger and Irishman Roche reportedly have put aside personal ambition to help Contador clinch a third Tour de France champion title.
Contador can also rely on long-term domestiques Jesus Hernandez, Benjamin Noval and Sergio Paulinho in a nine-man squad completed with Italians Matteo Tosatto and Daniele Bennati.
"I think we have found a great mix of in-form riders," Riis explained. "We have a group of strong climbers in the team, we have riders designated to take care of Alberto on the flat roads and in the wind, and I'm sure we will perform well in the TTT (team time trial) as well."
"At the same time, this team will allow us to ride aggressively or take a more controlling approach in all terrains depending on our needs. At the end of the day, this versatility will be a key component in trying to win the race."
Riis left out Danes Nicki Sørensen, Chris Anker Sørensen and Michael Mørkøv, who are reserves for the race. The three Danes are said to be disappointed with the team's inclusion of sprinter Bennati in a line-up which is said to have been constructed with the sole purpose of helping Contador win the Tour.
Sørensen, Anker Sørensen and Mørkøv are expected to take part in the 2013 Vuelta a Espana later this season, where they will be able to show their worth while they negotiate contracts with other teams.
Tour de France favorite Alberto Contador is using the premium version of the RoadCycling.com TrainingPeaks Training Tracker service to track and plan his training and nutrition. Want the same advantage as Contador and the rest of Team Saxo-Tinkoff? Sign up for the premium version here. After signing up you'll also be able to easily login to your Training Tracker account from all pages here on RoadCycling.com to access all the great Training Tracker features and get the maximum effect from your training.
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