RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK has finalized its team for the 100th Tour de France starting on June 29in Corsica. Andy Schleck, 2010 champion, will lead the squad. Schleck will be supported by eight devoted and experienced riders.
The team line-up for the Tour de France (June 29 – July 21)
Riders: Jan Bakelants, Laurent Didier, Tony Gallopin, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Maxime Monfort, Andy Schleck, Jens Voigt & Haimar Zubeldia.
Directors: Kim Andersen & Alain Gallopin
For Andy Schleck it will be his return to la Grande Boucle. Due to a pelvis fracture in 2012, Andy was not able to start. Since then the three-time Tour podium finisher suffered greatly from his injury and struggled for many months before seeing the return of his form.
“We are happy to see that Andy is back,” declared Team General Manager Luca Guercilena. “Nobody in the Team ever had doubts about the talent of Andy. Little by little he has come back to the level where we expect him. The Tour de Suisse encouraged and convinced us to give him the role he deserves and to give him the opportunity to have dedicated riders surrounding and supporting him. Of course we don’t put pressure on our champion. After the last twelve months it would be unrealistic to expect a podium place. On the other hand, the lack of stress and pressure can be a positive stimulus to a brilliant performance.”
With Andreas Klöden and Haimar Zubeldia RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK has two other Tour de France specialists: Klöden has finished second overall twice and Zubeldia has finished four times in the top ten overall.
“You can consider Haimar as our second weapon,” continued Guercilena. “Haimar, 6th last year, is always consistent and delivers his best.”
The roster is a good balance between supportive riders for the leader and guys who are prepared to go in the breaks every day and chase stage wins.
“It was not an easy task to select these nine riders,” concluded Team General Manager Luca Guercilena. “Every professional rider wants to ride the Tour and we had more than nine riders in good shape, ready to tackle this 100th Tour de France. It was, for instance, a hard decision not to select champions like Gregory Rast and Stijn Devolder, but we made the choice in good conscience, taking into account the goals we want to reach in this Tour.”