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Kirsten Wild celebrates with her teammates
Wild to lead the team on the Champs-Élysées
Team Giant-Shimano Women have announced a strong squad hopeful of delivering Kirsten Wild to victory in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France which will coincide with the final day of this year's Tour de France in Paris on July 27.
La Course is the first opportunity that both the Giant-Shimano men's and women's teams will have to race on the same circuit with 13 laps of the Champs-Élysées adding up to a 89 kilometre course.
"This race is going to be like the world championships for teams rather than countries," said team coach Hans Timmermans. "It is going to be one of the biggest women's races ever and it will be great to be a part of it.
31-year-old Wild already has 16 wins to her name in 2014 including overall victories at the Ladies Tour of Qatar and Tour of Chongming Island and will be a favourite on the sprint friendly course with a team built around her fast finishing.
"The team will never have raced in front of this many supporters before so it will be a great experience for them," Timmermans said.
"It will be interesting to see how the race evolves but with Kirsten we have one of the best sprinters in the world, and we have a strong team around her capable of forming a sprint formation to get her in the best position possible if the race comes down to a bunch finish."
Last year on the Champs-Élysées it was Marcel Kittel who claimed the win and his experience along with the coaches from the men's team will be utilised by the women's team in its quest for victory added Timmermans.
"We have a strong plan for this and it will be bolstered by input from the WorldTour team coaches later in the week to make the most of their experience and knowledge of racing here."
Giant-Shimano Women's team for La Course: Willeke Knol, Sara Mustonen, Amy Pieters, Maaike Polspoel, Julia Soek and Kirsten Wild.