Even with just six riders named, the squad is already bulging with riders that could win any one of the race’s 21 stages.
Marcel Kittel will lead the team into the flatter sprint stages. Having already claimed 10 victories this season, it’s evident that the German is back to his best. Etixx will be hoping for a repeat of the 2013 and 2014 seasons when Kittel took four stage wins in each edition of the Tour.
Irishman Daniel Martin is perhaps the team’s strongest option for mountain stages. Martin goes into the race fresh from placing third overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné, won by defending Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky).
Julian Alaphilippe will be a popular choice among French fans, as he has been enjoying a successful season so far having won the Tour of California overall and put in a good performance at the Dauphiné to place sixth overall. It will be the emerging 24-year-old’s first Grand Tour outing so his performance over three weeks is unknown.
One rider whose performance can be relied upon is Tony Martin. The German former time trial world champion is always a factor in stages against the clock, and last year won the cobbled stage four to Cambrai to claim the race lead.
Italian Fabio Sabatini and Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze have also been named, and will provide support for Kittel during fast finishes.
Katusha name Tour de France team
Russian WorldTour outfit Katusha have named all nine of the riders that will be wearing their distinctive red strip at the 2016 Tour.
Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff, and climbers Joaquim Rodriguez and Ilnur Zakarin will lead the team’s assault on stage victories. Kristoff is perhaps one of the few riders capable of challenging world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) for the coveted green jersey of points classification winner.
Russian Zakarin goes into the race after crashing out of the Giro d’Italia while sitting in fifth place overall. It will be his first Tour de France appearance.
Along with Kristoff, Rodriguez and Zakarin, Katusha have named Jacopo Guarnieri (Italy), Marco Haller (Austria), Alberto Losada (Spain), Michael Mørkøv (Denmark), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Belgium) and Angel Vicioso (Spain).
The 2016 Tour de France starts in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday July 2 and finished three weeks last in Paris, on Sunday, July 24.