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American team lines up formidable roster of climbers while there has been no space at all for sprinter Tyler Farrar and his support crew

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREW TALANSKY

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CHRISTIAN VANDE VELDE

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DANIEL MARTIN

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DAVID MILLAR

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EF EDUCATION FIRST-DRAPAC

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RAMUNAS NAVARDAUSKAS

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ROHAN DENNIS

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RYDER HESJEDAL

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TOM DANIELSON

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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TYLER FARRAR

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26.06.2013 @ 16:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Garmin-Sharp will put all their eggs in the GC basket at this year's Tour de France, the American team having left sprinter Tyler Farrar and his support crew out of the line-up. The team will focus all its attention on Ryder Hesjedal's podium aspirations and the Canadian will enjoy formidable support from climbers Andrew Talansky, Tom Danielson, Daniel Martin, Christian Vande Velde and Rohan Dennis.

 

As the final team, Garmin-Sharp has announced their line-up for the Tour de France. Last year the team lined up a two-pronged attack with Tyler Farrar gunning for the sprints and Ryder Hesjedal targeting the GC but this year the team has decided to focus its complete attention on the GC.

 

In 2012, the team also put most emphasis on its overall ambitions, thus leaving Farrar to fend for himself in the sprints, but this year there will even not be room for the sprinter himself in the line-up. The American failed to make an impact in the Tour de Suisse and his stage win at the Tour of California was not enough for team selectors to include him in the line-up.

 

The decision is testament to the amount of trust the team has in their GC leader Ryder Hesjedal. The Canadian has mostly been overlooked by the pundits in the build-up to this year's Tour but last year's Giro winner has performed splendidly whenever he has had the chance to show off his form. He was the strongest rider in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and did a fabulous ride in the first mountain stage of the Tour de Suisse before crashing out of the race the next day.

 

He has recovered from that tumble and the illness that saw him leave the Giro early, and the team is clearly confident that he has what it takes to step on the podium. Last year he crashed out of the race during the nervous first week and he hopes to avoid a similar scenario this time.

 

He will be backed by a formidable line-up for climbers. Andrew Talansky - 2nd overall at this year's Paris-Nice - makes hi long awaited debut at the Tour and is keen to show off more of the talent that saw him reel in Chris Froome and Richie Porte in the final stage of this year's Dauphiné. He is likely to be the team' back-up plan for the GC.

 

Daniel Martin will make his second appearance at the race and hopes to elaborate further on an already outstanding season that has seen him win both the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Volta a Catalunya. He is most likely to target a stage win and maybe even the mountains jersey.

 

Young talent Rohan Dennis is the surprise inclusion in the line-up. The Australian neo-pro had a tough early part of the season, clearly struggling with the increased pace at the highest level. His legs started to come around in the Tour of California where he finished 3rd in the time trial, and he most recently broke through on the biggest scene at the Dauphiné, winning the white jersey, wearing the yellow for a day and finishing 8th overall.

 

Veteran Americans Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde - both top 10 finishers in the Tour - will complete an impressive line-up of climbers. None of them have raced since the Giro d'Italia but should have recovered sufficiently to line up for another three-week race. With such a versatile roster of climbers, the team even has a good chance of contending for the teams classification win.

 

The team is completed by David Millar, Ramunas Narvadauskas and Jack Bauer who will add firepower to an already impressive roster for the team time trial and will be tasked with the job of keeping Hesjedal safe in the flat stages. Navardauskas and Millar have also both shown their capabilities on their own, the duo saving the team's 2013 Giro and 2012 Tour by taking stage wins from breakaways.

 

The Tour starts on Saturday with a road stage in Corsica.

 

Garmin-Sharp for the Tour de France:

Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky, Daniel Martin, Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, Rohan Dennis, David Millar, Ramunas Navardauskas and Jack Bauer

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