Team Sky has confirmed its line-up for the 2010 Tour de France.
Speaking at a press conference at 11:30 this morning, team principal Dave Brailsford announced the names of the nine riders starting in Rotterdam on July 3.
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The squad is built around Wiggins’ aim on the general classification, plus several options for opportunistic stage wins.
“We’ve got indications from Brad that things are going well and he’s in good shape.” said Brailsford. “Ultimately if you’re going to go for the GC, then you go for the GC and put all your eggs in one basket. If you start dividing your resources then you’re doing exactly that.”
Wiggins placed fourth in last year’s Tour de France whilst riding for the US-based Garmin squad.
The selected riders for the Tour are: Bradley Wiggins, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Steve Cummings, Juan Antonio Flecha, Simon Gerrans, Thomas Löfkvist, Geraint Thomas, Serge Pauwels and Michael Barry.
Previous Tour experience: Wiggins was 123rd overall in his first Tour, in 2006. In 2007, he was fourth in the prologue in London but left the race when Cofidis withdrew in light of the positive dope test for their rider Cristian Moreni. Wiggins skipped the Tour in 2008 to concentrate on the Beijing Olympics. Riding for Garmin-Transitions last year, he finished fourth overall, 6-01 behind winner Alberto Contador.
Bradley Wiggins: Rider Profile>>
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Previous Tour experience: None. This will be his first Tour de France. Boasson Hagen rode the Giro d’Italia for Columbia last year and won a stage. This season got off to a great start with stage wins in Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico. However, a problem with his Achilles ruined his Classics campaign and he was on the sideline for a number of weeks. Returning with a flourish, he won the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in France, on a very tough circuit at Sallanches.
Edvald Boasson Hagen: Rider Profile>>
Previous Tour experience: This will be a first Tour de France for the rider from the Wirral. He has ridden the Giro d’Italia three times, in 2007, 2008 and this year, finishing all of them.
Steve Cummings: Rider Profile>>
Juan Antonio Flecha
Previous Tour experience: Won a stage in the Centenary Tour in 2003 – you may remember his ‘bow and arrow’ victory celebration. Vastly experienced – he also finished the Tour every year from 2004 to 2007. In 2008 he was outside the time cut in the mountains. Last year he reached Paris again.
Juan Antonio Flecha: Rider Profile>>
Previous Tour experience: First rode the Tour in 2005, finishing 126th. Finished again in 2006 and 2007. Finest moment came in 2008, when he won the Alpine stage at Prato Nevoso. Was surprisingly left out of the Cervélo team for last year’s race, despite winning a stage at the Giro – which fuelled speculation he’d already agreed to join Team Sky.
Simon Gerrans: Rider Profile>>
Previous Tour experience: This will be his fifth Tour, which is remarkable considering he missed last year’s race. Made he debut at the race with the Française des Jeux team at the age of 21 in 2005. In 2008 he was 38th overall.
Thomas Lofkvist: Rider Profile>>
Previous Tour experience: Welsh Olympic champion who was the youngest rider in the Tour in 2007 when he rode for Barloworld. He finished second last overall. Recently impressed at the Critérium du Dauphiné. This will be his second Tour.
Previous Tour experience: Barry as ridden the Vuelta four times and the Giro three but has never started the Tour. During the Giro, Barry was named in Floyd Landis’s wide-reaching allegations – which he flatly denied.
Michael Barry: Rider Profile>>
Previous Tour experience: Won a Giro stage last year for Cervélo. Came into some form at the Tour of Switzerland.