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In-form Hivert will target stage wins, Feillu wants to impress in the mountains and Simon hopes for success in some of the tougher sprint stages

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ANTHONY DELAPLACE

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BRICE FEILLU

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CYRIL LEMOINE

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JONATHAN HIVERT

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JULIEN EL FARES

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JULIEN SIMON

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MAXIME MEDEREL

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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24.06.2013 @ 19:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

True to its mission, Sojasun has selected an all-French line-up for its third consecutive Tour de France. Without a GC contender in its ranks, the team hopes to impress through attacking and aggressive racing and targets its first ever stage win at the event.

 

While it was mostly regarded as unthinkable that Cofidis and Europcar would not receive a wild card invitation for this year's Tour, the battle for the third and final spot in the race was fierce. Up against foreign teams IAM and NetApp-Endura, French Sojasun was selected for its third ever participation at its big home race.

 

The only has one foreign rider in its roster and so it is no surprise that team management has chosen a line-up for the event which is made up entirely by French riders. The team hopes to use its role as underdog to race aggressively and entertaining and hopes to get rewarded by taking its first ever stage win.

 

One of the team's riders has one a stage in the past as climber Brice Feillu won the mountain stage to Andorra in his debut Tour in 2009. Since then the climber has failed to live up to the promises but he showed some solid condition at the recent Tour de Suisse and we are sure to him on the attack in the mountains.

 

Another of the team's big name riders is Jonathan Hivert who was in splendid condition early this year when he won two stages in the Vuelta a Andalucia and performed solidly at the Paris-Nice. He returned to form at the recent Tour de Luxembourg, wearing the yellow jersey for two days before sealing an overall 2nd place. The Frenchman is a punchy rider, a good climber and fast finisher and will target a win in one of the intermediate stages.

 

That will also be the case for Julien Simon who had a breakthrough last year when he won two stages at the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour du Finistere and the GP Wallonie. He has failed to repeat those performances this year but will be eager to confirm his potential during his second Tour. He is a classics rider with a very fast finish, thus making him one of the team's best options for a stage win.

 

A surprise inclusion is 25-year old MTB rider Alexis Vuillermoz who has started his debut season as a road professional really well. He performed solidly in first WorldTour race at the Paris-Nice in March and recently earned his selection by finishing 5th at the Rhone-Alpes Isere Tour and 14th in the Route du Sud. His background as a mountain biker makes him a good climber and the team hopes to see him develop into a future star.

 

Julien El Fares and Maxime Mederel are other options in the hillier stages while Jean-Marc Marino and Anthony Delaplace are more suited to breakaways in some of the flatter intermediate stages. Finally, Cyril Lemoine hopes to defend the team's honours in the time trials and could also try his hand in one of the sprint stages.

 

Sojasun will start the Tour on Saturday with a flat road stage in Corsica.

 

Sojasun for the Tour de France:

Brice Feillu, Jonathan Hivert, Julien Simon, Maxime Mederel, Julien El Fares, Jean-Marc Marino, Anthony Delaplace, Alexis Vuillermoz and Cyril Lemoine

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