André Greipel and Warren Barguil have been confirmed for this year’s Tour de France, as Arkéa-Samsic announce the squad they will take to the French Grand Tour.
Alongside their two star riders will be four Frenchman, Maxime Bouet, Anthony Delaplace, Élie Gesbert and Florian Vachon, with the two final names for the eight-man squad set to be announced following the French national championships, which take place on June 30.
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André Greipel will be looking to add to his 11 Tour de France stage victories, having last won on the Champs-Élysées in 2016.
It would appear the German will not be impeded by the stomach virus that forced him out of the Critérium du Dauphiné on stage seven, the sprinter requiring treatment and rest to recover in time for the Tour.
Greipel climbed off on stage 11 of the Tour last year, en route to Alpe d’Huez, alongside fellow sprinters Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma). Lotto-Soudal, who were his team at the time, then abruptly announced the German would be leaving the team at the end of the season.
Greipel stepped down from the WorldTour ranks to join the French Pro-Continental outfit for the start of 2019, following a 2018 where his most notable victories came at the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain.
So far in 2019, he has only managed one victory, a stage of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, a race held in Gabon part of the UCI Africa Tour.
Following his top 10 finish and polka dot jersey at the 2017 Tour, Warren Barguil was thrown out of the Vuelta a España by his own Sunweb team after disagreements over race tactics and goals, the Frenchman wanting to work for himself rather than team leader Wilco Kelderman.
Barguil therefore arrived at Arkéa-Samsic for the start of the 2018 season, however he failed to follow up his 2017 successes, only managing second place to Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in the king of the mountains classification at the Tour. The 27-year-old recently finished in 13th at the Dauphiné and will be looking to build on that form come July.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is rumoured to be moving to the French team next season, as they plan to become a WorldTour team for the 2020 season, and were once again given a wildcard spot for the 2019 Tour.
Next year, the four wildcard spots for Grand Tours won’t be purely given out as invitations, with two spots at each of the three races going to the two top-ranked teams at the Pro-Continental level.