German duo selected for Giant-Alpecin long-list after very differing fortunes so far this season

Marcel Kittel has been included in Giant-Alpecin’s long-list for their 2015 Tour de France squad, despite having missed a sizeable chunk of the season through illness.

Kittel attempted to make his comeback from the illness he’d been suffering from since the Tour of Qatar at the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire, but subsequently abandoned the race in the middle of stage one.

The German is due to attempt another return to racing at the sprinter friendly ASO stage race, the World Ports Classic, which begins on Saturday.

Kittel is joined on the 13-rider strong list by John Degenkolb, who in contrast to his compatriot, has had a fine season taking two monuments in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. Degenkolb made his return to racing after a mid-season break at Bayern Rundfahrt, where he won two stages.

Time trial specialist Tom Dumoulin is also listed, and will have one eye on the prologue (and the only time trial) of this year’s Tour in Utrecht and the chance to take the first maillot jaune of the race.

“The one time trial [in the Tour] makes up for a lot,” Dumoulin told Cycling Weekly earlier this year.

“It’s in my home country and it’s the perfect distance for me, so it’s going to be huge for me. I’m really looking forward to that, so it doesn’t really matter that there’s not another time trial.

“I’m not really thinking about the yellow jersey at the moment – I’m busy with the process of getting to my top level for that day and that’s what matters to me.”

Giant-Alpecin long-list for 2015 Tour de France:

Warren Barguil (FRA)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Koen de Kort (NED)
Georg Preidler (AUT)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)