Team Tinkoff-Saxo Reveals Line-Up for Tour de France 2014
According to Team Tinkoff Bank - Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis selecting the nine riders for the team's Tour de France roster has been a very difficult process because the team management had to choose between a broad range of riders who were all qualified to be part of the Tour team. The Challenge, however, must have gotten easier when Team Tinkoff-Saxo star rider Roman Kreuziger got suspended because of doping accusations.
"Selecting this year’s line-up has been very difficult," Riis told Roadcycling.com.
"This year, we’ve had a very strong group of candidates who have all been showing impressive spirit. We have selected a team of high quality both in regards to individual strength and their ability to support each other and ride as a team towards the main goal of winning the Tour de France with Alberto (Contador)."
According to a team spokesman, the team members were chosen with the sole purpose of supporting team captain Alberto Contador against strong competitors on a very demanding Tour de France route. The 2014 Tour de France route, however, has been criticized by many pro cycling analysts for being both too undemanding and uninteresting with too few major mountain challenges, just one individual time trial and no team time trial at all.
"We have been looking at what shape the riders were in and tried to match their unique skills as riders with the challenges we’ll face during the 21 Tour de France stages. It’s a tough Tour this year with almost no flat stages after the first week. When we reach the Vosges region, we’ll already be facing serious climbs," Riis explained.
"So we’ve chosen riders that are capable of protecting Alberto in all kinds of stages and supporting him to the fullest in the mountains. I have complete confidence in our team, their readiness and their commitment to take up the fight in this year’s Tour. We all focus on putting on the yellow jersey on the podium in France," Riis concluded.
Team Tinkoff-Saxo roster for Tour de France 2014:
Alberto Contador, Michael Rogers, Nicolas Roche, Michael Mørkøv, Rafal Majka, Jesús Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Daniele Bennati, Matteo Tosatto.
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