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10 riders still in contention for the final 7 spots, Gilbert has apparently not been guaranteed one

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AMAEL MOINARD

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BRENT BOOKWALTER

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CADEL EVANS

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DOMINIK NERZ

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GREG VAN AVERMAET

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MANUEL QUINZIATO

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MARCUS BURGHARDT

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MATHIAS FRANK

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MICHAEL SCHÄR

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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STEVE MORABITO

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TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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THOR HUSHOVD

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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10.06.2013 @ 15:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cadel Evans and Tejay Van Garderen are the only riders who have been assured that they will be included in the BMC line-up for the Tour De France while 10 riders are still in contention for the remaining 7 spots. Philippe Gilbert had earlier indicated that he had been guaranteed a start but apparently the world champion still has to show that he deserves one.

 

BMC has always had a firm plan of lining up at the Tour de France with a firm focus on the GC as 2011 winner Cadel Evans and last year's best young rider Tejay Van Garderen both have the potential to battle for the final overall podium in Paris. Hence, there has never been any discussion over their participation in La Grande Boucle later this month but according to a report in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, no other teammate has been guaranteed a spot in the line-up.

 

Apparently, the final choice of the 7 riders who will travel to France to support Evans and Van Garderen, will be made from a long list of 10 riders. Those riders all participated in a recent training camp where the team checked out the course for the stage 4 team time trial in Nice.

 

Philippe Gilbert, Matthias Frank, Michael Schär, Steve Morabito, Thor Hushovd, Marcus Burghardt, Amael Moinard, Brent Bookwalter, Dominik Nerz and Manuel Quinziato are the riders still in contention. Gilbert had previously indicated that team management had guaranteed him a spot in the line-up but if these reports are true, he will have to earn his start with a solid performance in the Tour de Suisse. He has still not won a race since taking the rainbow jersey in September last year.

 

Matthias Frank appears to be in a good position as the Swiss in currently riding strong in Switzerland, finishing 2nd in yesterday's first mountain stage. The same goes for Moinard who rode strongly for Frank and Van Garderen yesterday an could be another key support rider in the mountains.

 

Nerz and Morabito are the final climbers in the line-up and while the former recently performed solidly in the Criterium du Dauphiné, the latter's condition is far more uncertain as he has not raced since the Giro d'Italia which he finished with a broken hand.

 

Schär and Bookwalter both did a tremendous job for Van Garderen whel he recently raced the Tour of Belgium while Burghardt and Quinziato were riding strongly in the Tour of Belgium. All 4 riders were part of last year's line-up where they did a solid job to navigate their captains safely through the flat opening stages.

 

Finally, Hushovd got better and better as the Dauphiné went on and he finally seems to approach his former level after an illness-plagued 2012 season. If he is included in the line-up, he will be another key support rider in the flat stages.

 

Greg Van Avermaet, the team's most consistent performer in the classics, has apparently been left out from the selection. The Belgian who currently rides in Switzerland, had indicated that he was eager to return to the Tour for the first time since his first participation in 2009.

 

 I am someone who is always there when the team needs me," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "The team would not regret it if they would take me.”

 

The Tour de France starts on June 29 with a road stage on the island of Corsica.

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