Bahrain-Merida unveil Tour de France selection headed by Izagirre and Colbrelli

Bahrain-Merida released their nine-man squad on Monday for their first-ever appearance at the Tour de France, which gets underway on Saturday in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Spain's Ion Izagirre and Italy's Sonny Colbrelli are the team's headliners. Izagirre, strong in the time trials and on the climbs, will enjoy a leadership role in the Tour for the first time in his career after several years with Movistar riding in support of Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana. Colbrelli, who has five career Giro starts to his name, will be making his Tour de France debut after a strong spring.

"We will take it day by day fixing new goals every day and of course we will go with two leaders as some stages fit really well to Sonny Colbrelli and some other to Ion Izagirre," said Bahrain-Merida sports director Philippe Mauduit via a team press release.

"As some stages are designed for 'all rounders' everyone will have the opportunity to jump on a breakaway and play his own role, but the most important is to increase our chances will be to keep the team spirit that our riders have always shown, ride and act as a unique united team, showing our colours in front of the race and fighting for the best possible result."

Bahrain-Merida for the Tour de France: Janez Brajkovič, Ondrej Cink, Yukiya Arashiro, Tsgabu Grmay, Ion Izagirre, Sonny Colbrelli, Borut Božič, Javier Moreno, Grega Bole

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