BikeExchange-Jayco has today announced its Tour de France selection and the surprise omission from the Australian team's lineup was Simon Yates.
Yates' most recent racing action was at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year in which he won two stages. He later abandoned the Giro due to pain from a knee injury picked up in a crash on stage four during the race.
Yates was expected to race the Tour de France if he had recovered in time. But after a longer recovery period, including some time away from his bike, he will now ride the Vuelta a Espana later this year instead. It is a race he won in 2018.
The 29 year old climber has enjoyed success at the Tour in the past. He won the best young rider classification in 2017 and won two stages at the 2019 edition of the Tour but crashed out of proceedings in 2021.
In this year's Giro he won the stage two time trial in Budapest before later taking victory on an enthralling stage 14 in the hills around Torino. The second stage win came despite Yates battling with the knee injury that would eventually cause him to leave the race.
The absence of Yates means that BikeExchange-Jayco will arrive in Copenhagen with their hopes of stage wins pinned on sprinters Dylan Groenewegen and Michael Matthews. Both have proven success at the Tour de France, racking up one green jersey and seven stage wins between them.
Another notable absence for the Australian team was US National Time Trial Champion, Lawson Craddock.
Team manager Matt White said the team’s selection for the grand-tour could be competitive over various terrain.
“This is an experienced group to be taking to what is always a beautiful, yet stressful block of racing. We have a team of guys who can win stages and be very competitive across the three weeks over various terrains. There is one thing for sure; this group will put their hearts and souls into our daily plans and objectives from day one in Copenhagen, until we cross that finish line in Paris,” said White
Groenewegen’s last featured at the Tour de France in 2019, taking a stage win that year.
A big target for the Australian outfit is the second stage in Copenhagen.
Groenewegen said: “I hope there is not too much wind so it can finish with a sprint. The sprints at the TDF are always hectic, not only with all the sprinters but there’s always general classification riders trying to stay at the front too for the time, so it’s always busy in the bunch and this makes it different to other races. Having these experienced riders around me in the finals will be important during the whole Tour.”
BikeExchange-Jayco line-up in full:
Dylan Groenewegen, Luka Mezgec, Michael Matthews, Luke Durbidge, Chris Juul-Jensen, Jack Bauer, Nick Schultz and Amund Grøndahl Jansen.
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