Radioshack unveil Tour line-up
Team RadioShack announced its nine-man line-up for the Tour de France.
Paris: Team RadioShack announced its nine-man line-up for the Tour de France but in the absence of the now-retired Lance Armstrong there is no particular team leader who has been singled out for a shot at the crown.
The seven-time winner of the Tour announced his retirement from the saddle in February although the 39-year-old is still facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations.
Another absentee is the Belgian Sebastien Rosseler - a time trial specialist - who has not recovered from a knee injury sustained during the Tour of Luxembourg. Veteran Australian Robbie McEwan also missed out.
"With (Jani) Brajkovic, (Chris) Horner, (Andreas) Kloden and (Levi) Leipheimer we will start with four guys who will be able to contend for the general classification," said Johan Bruyneel, RadioShack`s team sports manager.
Bruyneel admitted that the team would not be in contention for the mass sprints but said they had the firepower to challenge on several fronts.
"Jani Brajkovic beat Alberto Contador in last year`s Criterium du Dauphine," he said. "At age 39 Chris Horner dominated the Tour of California and proves to get better with the years.
"Andreas Kloden has had a healthy and strong season so far, winning the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and finishing as runner-up in Paris-Nice. And then Levi...he was so impressive in Switzerland, he is ready.
"Too many leaders is not an ideal situation, but we are confident we can turn this into an advantage. Together we are strong to fight against Contador and the Schlecks."
Horner was the American team`s best-placed rider in last year`s general classification, coming in tenth, over 12 minutes behind the winner Contador. RadioShack did, however, clinch the team classification.
The 2011 edition begins on July 2 and ends in Paris on July 24.
Jani Brajkovic (SLO), Chris Horner (USA), Markel Irizar (ESP), Andreas Kloden (GER), Levi Leipheimer (USA), Dmitriy Muravyev (KAZ), Sergio Paulinho (POR), Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)