Team Garmin-Sharp-POC Announces 2014 Tour de France Roster
Team Garmin-Sharp-POC earlier today announced its line-up for the 2014 Tour de France.
The Garmin-Sharp team for this year's Tour de France is headed by 25-year-old team captain Andrew Talansky of USA, who will be targeting the general classification and is hoping to win the Tour. Talansky recently won this year's Critérium du Dauphiné - his final race before the Tour. Talansky was the best-placed American in last year's Tour de France, where he finished 10th overall in his Tour debut.
Talansky will be supported by a strong, yet somewhat inexperienced, Garmin-Sharp squad that noteworthingly does not include Ryder Hesjedal and Dan Martin.
Tom-Jelte Slagter comes off a strong season to-date with stage wins at Paris-Nice and top-ten finishes in La Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Sebastian Langeveld, the newly crowned Dutch National Road Champion, has netted top-ten finishes in this year's Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The team management has also selected 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner, Johan Vansummeren; Janier Acevedo, 9th overall in the recent Tour de Suisse and the Tour of California; Ramunas Navardauskas, 2014 Lithuanian National Time Trial Champion, and Jack Bauer, who won the Prologue of the 2014 Herald Sun Tour. The team's line-up is also featuring fellow young Americans Ben King and Alex Howes, both making their Tour de France debuts this year. Howes has been a part of the Slipstream organization since he was a junior in 2004.
"Selecting the final nine for our Tour de France team is a very difficult task," Team Garmin-Sharp-POC sports director Charly Wegelius explained. "This year, we come into the Tour with a team built around Andrew Talansky. Had David Millar been healthy, he would have been a phenomenal team member. We would have loved to have him. Unfortunately, as seen over the weekend, David is sick, so we were forced to make a difficult and sad decision. That said, I am confident that we have put together an excellent group of riders that will be best equipped to ride a great race and support Andrew. It's going to be an exciting Tour and - as always - we will look to animate the race and bring excitement to our fans."
"In years past we have approached the Tour de France with multiple leaders and multiple goals," commented Jonathan Vaughters who is functioning as CEO of Team Garmin-Sharp owner Slipstream Sports.
"This year, we approach it with one clear leader, Andrew Talansky, and our roster is designed to give him the best possible support. We are very sorry to leave David Millar home due to illness. His experience is unparallelled and his contributions to the sport and our team are undeniable. We wish things were different for David, but as we look ahead to the Tour, we believe we have selected a strong team and we are committed to helping Andrew build on last year's success."
Team Garmin-Sharp roster for Tour de France 2014:
Andrew Talansky, Janier Acevedo, Jack Bauer, Alex Howes, Ben King, Sebastian Langeveld, Ramunas Navardauskas, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Johan Vansummeren.