Team Saxo Bank-SunGard Announces 2011 Tour de France Roster

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06/22/2011| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen
After his strong performance in the 2011 Tour de Suisse Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Chris Anker Sørensen is expected to be a powerful lead-out rider for teammate Alberto Contador on the climbs of the Tour de France 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
After his strong performance in the 2011 Tour de Suisse Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Chris Anker Sørensen is expected to be a powerful lead-out rider for teammate Alberto Contador on the climbs of the Tour de France 2011. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Team Saxo Bank-SunGard Announces 2011 Tour de France Roster

Team Saxo Bank-SunGard owner Bjarne Riis and the team's sports directors earlier this morning revealed the team's roster for the Tour de France 2011.

Team Saxo Bank-SunGard owner Bjarne Riis and the team's sports directors earlier this morning revealed the team's roster for the Tour de France 2011.

The Denmark-based team will start this year's Tour de France hoping to secure the overall victory for the team when the race finishes in Paris three weeks later. Awaiting the verdict of the appeal in Alberto Contador's clenbuterol doping case, Contador has been allowed to take part in this year's Tour and is hoping to continue on a high note coming fresh off his overall victory in the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

"We've obviously tried to pick the team that fits the best to our overall strategy. It is no secret that we are in the race to win it, so our job have been to identify the rider group, that will be able to give Alberto (Contador) the best possible support through the three weeks," Bjarne Riis told Roadcycling.com and our mobile sister site Roadcycling.mobi.

"We have come up with a team that can both protect, be aggressive and defend. We are strong both on the flat roads and in the mountains. I think it's an exceptionally strong team," Riis added.

Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Tour roster includes Alberto Contador's strong spanish trio consisting of Jesus Hernandez, Daniel Navarro and Benjamin Noval, which Contador brought with him from Team Astana. A trio that amazed many a pro cycling reporter with their dominating performance in last year's Tour.

Added to the roster are strong time trialists Richie Porte and Brian Vandborg who will be able to secure a good result for the team in the 23 kilometer stage 2 team time trial. A stage which is important for Contador's chances in the overall classification, but also a team time trial which Riis has high hopes of winning because of his great affection for the team time trial discipline. Adding to this is Riis' wish to beat Team Leopard-Trek, whose roster consists mostly of riders who left Riis and Team Saxo Bank-SunGard last year to ride for Team Leopard-Trek - a split which was dominated by very arrogant behavior.

Matteo Tosatto is a strong all-rounder who, together with Nicki Sørensen and Brian Vandborg, will be responsible for a well-functioning supply chain from the team cars to the riders. They will also be able to protect Contador in the final kilometers dominated by fierce battles for good positions in the peloton while preparing for the finish line sprints.

A rider who we consider to be the team's major joker, or ace, is Chris Anker Sørensen who has shown great climbing skills in previous Tour de France editions as well as in other Grand Tours. This year Chris Anker Sørensen has shown impressive form and animated the mountain finishes in the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. Chris Anker Sørensen will be a strong support for Contador in the mountain stages of this year's Tour de France. Perhaps more importantly he will be able to take over the role as team captain if Contador should be forced to abandon the Tour because of

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