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David Moncoutie (Cofidis) resplendant in the mountains jersey.
French squad announces long list of 13 riders
Ten riders from Cofidis are currently working out at a pre-Tour de France training camp in Risoul in the French Alps. Mickaël Buffaz, Leonardo Duque, Samuel Dumoulin, Julien El Farès, Tony Gallopin, David Moncoutié, Damien Monier, Rein Taaramae, Tristan Valentin and Nicolas Vogondy are all included in the long list of 13 riders possibly up for the line-up of nine at the Tour.
Rémi Cusin, Romain Zingle and Aleksejs Saramontins, absent from the training camp, could also make the team's squad for July, team manager Eric Boyer told L'Equipe. "The final line-up will be decided after the Dauphiné (June 5-12) at the latest," he said.
With the French championships scheduled on June 26 - and the tricolore jersey always prominent at the country's greatest cycling event - Boyer added that "if a rider that is not listed in this pre-selection becomes French champion, we could think things over. But not necessarily if the jersey goes to one of our neo pros."
From the long list, 2008 Tour stage winner Dumoulin, El Farès, Monier and Taaramae have good chances of being included in the final Tour line-up as they represented Cofidis at the Tour already last year. The team's climber Moncoutié, targeting the mountains title, is already certain of his spot.
The riders present at the training camp are scheduled to recon the Galibier on Friday. They will also ride the Col d'Agnel and Alpe d'Huez, all important mountain passes in the third week of this year's Tour de France.