Trek-Segafredo team to support Contador and Degenkolb at the Tour de France

Veteran Spaniard has Mollema, Irizar and Pantano for his shot at a third victory

The Trek-Segaredo team has confirmed its nine riders for the Tour de France, with Alberto Contador the protected general classification leader for what is likely to be his final shot at overall victory at the Tour de France. The veteran Spaniard will share team leadership with sprinter John Degenkolb who will target stage victories and possible the green points jersey if he shows consistency in the opening sprint finishes.

The US-registered Trek-Segafredo team includes riders from seven different nations. Supporting Contador and Degenkolb are Portugal’s André Cardoso, Dutchman Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline of Italy, Austria’s Michal Gogl, Spanish veteran Markel Irizar, Dutchman Bauke Mollema, and Colombia’s Jarlinson Pantano. Surprisingly there is no place for Contador’s loyal domestique Jesus Hernandez.

Mollema finished seventh overall in the Giro d’Italia and will provide back-up to Contador in the key mountain stages alongside Pantano who won a mountain stage in last year’s Tour de France.

Trek-Segafredo named its riders one by one via Twitter on Friday, with selected fans given the honour of reveal each name.

The team is under pressure to perform at the Tour de France after a difficult first part of the season. Despite being one of the leading teams in the WorldTour, Trek-Segafredo has only won seven races, with the only WorldTour victory coming from Fabio Felline, who won the prologue in the Tour de Romandie.

Degenkolb had a solid spring Classics campaign but failed to win a major race, finishing seventh in Milan-San Remo, fifth in Gent-Wevelgem and seventh at the Tour of Flanders. He can count on loyal teammate de Kort and Felline for the sprints.

Contador has won the Tour de France twice and has built his 2017 season around the Tour de France. He has yet to confirm if he will race in 2018 but could opt to end his career by riding the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Contador was aggressive at Paris-Nice but was unable to defeat Sergio Henao (Team Sky). He went on to finish second at the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. He rode the Criterium du Dauphine as final build-up for the Tour de France but was only 11th overall, insisting his summer is focused on the Tour de France.

"I'm happy ahead of the Tour de France. Not many guys win the Dauphine and then win the Tour, but the condition is good. For me, it was better to go behind the leaders and in my own tempo so that I can go better at the Tour de France," Contador said after the French race.

Trek-Segafredo for the Tour de France: Alberto Contador, John Degenkolb, André Cardoso, Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline, Michal Gogl, Markel Irizar, Bauke Mollema, and Jarlinson Pantano.

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