Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Announces Preliminary Start List, Snubs Chris Horner

Michael Hatamoto@MhatamotoContributor IIIJune 11, 2012

Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek has selected 14 riders in a preliminary Tour de France race roster, which will be trimmed down to nine riders the week of June 18.

Here is the preliminary roster:

Fabian Cancellara
Jakob Fuglsang
Andy Schleck
Frank Schleck
Tony Gallopin
Linus Gerdemann
Markel Irizar
Andreas Klöden
Maxime Monfort
Yaroslav Popovych
Gregory Rast
Hayden Roulston
Jens Voigt
Haimar Zubeldia

I predict the following nine will be included on the team:

Andy Schleck
Frank Schleck
Fabian Cancellara
Jens Voigt
Jakob Fuglsang
Yaroslav Popovych
Andreas Klöden
Haimar Zubeldia
Linus Gerdemann

Notably left off the list:  US rider Chris Horner, a strong time trialist and quality climber.  I’m disappointed he won’t be able to help as a super domestique for the Schleck brothers, with the decision already causing some controversy.

“Already at California, his back was not okay,” Philippe Maertens, Team press officer, said of Horner in a statement to VeloNews.  “That is also the reason why he is not in the Tour de Suisse this week.  Without racing Swiss, it would be impossible for him to in the Tour de France.”

If Horner’s back actually is the cause of the exemption, that makes sense—but there are rumors that internal team politics may have played a bigger role in the decision.

The team will be built around helping one of the Schleck brothers—most likely Andy—try and reach the top step of the podium in Paris.  Once the race starts heading uphill, Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek is one of the strong teams that will be tasked with controlling breakaways and the tempo of the peloton.

Related

    Armstrong Settles Fraud Suit with US Government

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Armstrong Settles Fraud Suit with US Government

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Cyclist Michael Goolaerts Dies at Age 23 from Cardiac Arrest

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Cyclist Michael Goolaerts Dies at Age 23 from Cardiac Arrest

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Wiggins Used Drugs to Boost Performance

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Report: Wiggins Used Drugs to Boost Performance

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Froome Failed Vuelta Drug Test

    Cycling logo
    Cycling

    Froome Failed Vuelta Drug Test

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report