BMC Racing Team has narrowed the candidates for its 2013 Tour de France squad down to 12 riders. 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen will lead the team, but 10 riders are still in contention for the remaining seven spots. Even world champion Philippe Gilbert has not been officially named in the line-up.
Het Nieuwsblad reported that the squad will be picked from the group of riders who tested the team time trial course in Nice last week. Those riders are Gilbert, Mathias Frank, Michael Schär, Steve Morabito, Thor Hushovd, Marcus Burghardt, Amael Moinard, Brent Bookwalter, Dominique Nerz and Manuel Quinziato.
Last month team principal Jim Ochowicz confirmed to Cyclingnews that Evans would be the team captain, with van Garderen as his chief lieutenant. Evans finished third overall in this year's Giro d'Italia, while van Garderen won the Tour of California.
Gilbert has said that he very much wants to ride the Tour and has even indicated that he has been privately assured of a spot on the squad, although no official announcement has been made. The world champion, who is currently riding the Tour de Suisse, is still searching for his first victory of the season.
Greg Van Avermaet expressed his disappointment at not being selected, saying. “ I am someone who is always there when the team needs me. The team would not regret it if they would take me.” The Belgian has ridden the Tour only once, in 2009, when he was with the Lotto team.