Seven of the eight Saxo Bank-SunGard riders who will support Alberto Contador in pursuit of another Tour de France title have been named, according to an Australian newspaper, with the last spot remaining to be filled. However, the team denied that the final decision as to the full line-up had yet been made.
Australians Richie Porte and Baden Cooke, Danes Chris Anker Sørensen and Nicki Sørensen, Argentinean Juan Jose Haedo, and Spaniards Jesus Hernandez and Daniel Navarro are all sure of their spots on the squad, directeur sportif Nick Gates told The Australian.
But a team spokesman said that the final line-up was not yet set. “The final pieces of the puzzle are being put together now, and we will announce the Tour squad on Wednesday,” Anders Damgaard told Cyclingnews Monday afternoon.
"We have a deep squad of riders to pick from. Alberto brought Hernandez and Navarro across from Astana at the end of last year specifically as support riders to help him out on the mountain stages," Gates said.
"The two of them worked their backsides off for him last month at what everyone now agrees was one of the toughest Giros in living memory. The Tour de France next month will be no different.”
Sprinter Cooke could have another go at the green jersey. "Cookie deserves his place, he's been strong and reliable for the team all season," Gates said. The 32-year-old won the green jersey in 2003.
However, Damgaard told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that Gates was indicating that Cooke deserved a place on the team, rather than that he had received one.