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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) won stage 3 at the Tour de Suisse from a four-rider break.
Grand Tour debut for Moreno Moser
Sagan claimed three stage wins and the points classification at last year’s Tour, when the team was devoted largely to the podium challenge of Vincenzo Nibali. Following Nibali’s departure to Astana, and with Ivan Basso still recovering from the perineal cyst that ruled him out of the Giro d’Italia, Cannondale has selected a team designed to fully support Sagan. The 100th edition of the Tour gets underway in Corsica on June 29 with a testing road race stage to Bastia that could see Sagan take the first yellow jersey of the race.
Sagan will be supported by Ted King, Alessandro De Marchi, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini, Kristijan Koren, Maciej Bodnar and Brian Vandborg, as well as Moser. De Marchi recently scored his first professional win with an impressive stage victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
King is making his first appearance in the Tour de France and is one of four Grande Boucle debutants in the team alongside Moser, De Marchi and Marangoni.
“This team is the ideal one to target our goals at the Tour,” directeur sportif Stefano Zanatta said. “A talented rider such as Sagan deserves to be supported in the best way. He has prepared this event with great commitment and accuracy. His wish to win the green jersey is our wish. Being competitive in the stages suited to us is another of our aims.”
In Basso’s absence, the team had similar ambitions at the Giro d’Italia but was unable to land a stage victory. However the firepower of Sagan and Moser presents Cannondale with a range of options at the Tour.
An impressive winner of Strade Bianche in March, Moser lines up among the favourites for Saturday’s Italian national championships on home roads in Trentino, but Zanatta was reluctant to fix any specific targets for the youngster in his Tour debut.
“Moser has the right characteristics to leave his mark. We’re really confident in his quality and we just ask him to do his best,” he said. “His growth will be our third target at this Tour de France.”
Cannondale team for the Tour de France: Peter Sagan (Svk), Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Kristijan Koren (Slo), Alessandro De Marchi (Ita), Alan Marangoni (Ita), Fabio Sabatini (Ita), Moreno Moser (Ita), Ted King (USA) and Brian Vandborg (Den).