Giant-Alpecin have announced its 14-rider long list for the 2016 Tour de France with Warren Barguil,John Degenkolb and Tom Dumoulin all named by the German team. Having won stages at the French grand tour for three years running, Giant-Alpecin are aiming to continue its run.
"We go to the Tour de France with the aim of winning a stage, and our long-list for this year's Tour should provide opportunities to achieve this result," said coach Adriaan Helmantel.
Helmantel further explained that the final selection for the nine-man team will be made following a training camp and three pre-Tour races.
"In terms of preparation, we have done video recons of eight stages. This footage will be analysed and used to prepare the guys and determine our tactics," Helmantel added. "In addition, some riders will train at an altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain, to build up their fitness levels. Finally, the last key races for the team before the Tour de France will be the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Ster ZLM Toer."
The team enjoyed victory in stage 17 last year via Simon Geschke while Barguil was 14th overall in his debut Tour with a fractured knee. Both riders have been named in the team and offer options for stage wins.
With stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, Degenkolb is looking to complete the grand tour set with his first Tour de France stage win this July. The German has finished second on a stage in all three previous appearance at the Tour and with his confidence rising after the Tour of California, will be a rider to watch in the sprints.
Dumoulin has wore the leader's jerseys at his last two grand tours, the 2015 Vuelta a Espana and 2016 Giro d'Italia and was on the cusp of pulling on yellow before crashing of out the 2015 Tour de France. The Dutchman abandoned the Giro last week and is yet to commit to starting the Tour as he eyes off Olympic time trial gold but has been included in Giant-Alpecin's long list.
Recent signing Laurens ten Dam has also made the long list and will be called upon to support Barguil in the high mountains. The majority of Giant-Alpecin's sprint train have made the selection to support Degenkolb's bid for a stage win while the likes of Nikias Arndt, Georg Preidler, Tobias Ludvigsson and Albert Timmer are in line to head to France having raced the Giro this month.
Should they be selected, Ludvigsson and Zico Waeytens would make their Tour de France debuts.
Giant-Alpecin Tour de France long list: Nikias Arndt (Ger), Warren Barguil (Fra), Roy Curvers (Ned), John Degenkolb (Ger), Koen De Kort (Ned), Tom Dumoulin (Ned), Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger), Simon Geschke (Ger), Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe), Georg Preidler (Aut), Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned), Laurens ten Dam (Ned), Albert Timmer (Ned) and Zico Waeytens (Bel).