Team RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel has revealed the names of 14 riders currently on the line for selection for this year’s Tour de France.
The new US-registered ProTour team includes some of the strongest stage race riders in the peloton, and Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden and Haimar Zubeldia are all named in the Bruyneel’s long-list according to Spanish website Biciciclismo.com.
Also in the list is sprinter Gert Steegmans, Chris Horner, Janez Brajkovic, Jason McCartney, Yaroslav Popovych, Grégory Rast, Dmitriy Muravyev, Sérgio Paulinho, Sébastien Rosseler and Tomas Vaitkus.
Neither South African Daryl Impey nor three-time Tour rider, Frenchman Geoffroy Lequatre, were named in the selection.
The final line-up for the Tour de France will be decided in June.
According to Biciclismo.com, Armstrong has to still decide between the Dauphiné Libéré or the Tour de Suisse as his final build-up race before the Tour de France.
He will make his European debut at the Vuelta a Murcia (March 3-7) and then possibly ride Milan-San Remo (March 20) before Critérium International (March 27-28), Ronde van Vlaanderen (April 4), the Amstel Gold Race (April 18), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 25) and then the Tour of California (May 16-23).
No Giro d’Italia?
Bruyneel admitted to Biciciclismo.com that he still does not know if Team RadioShack will be invited to this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Armstrong rode the Italian stage race for the first time in his career in 2009 but will target the Tour of California in May 2010.
Bruyneel looked to appease race director Angelo Zomegnan by suggesting that Armstrong could ride Milan-Sanremo - a race also organised by Giro organiser RCS - if the team is invited to the Grand Tour.
“It’s not yet decided if we’ll ride the Giro or not, it’s up in the air. We’re talking with the organisers RCS,” Bruyneel was quoted as saying.
“The Tour of California is an important race for us and so we’ll take the strongest team we can. If we do take in part in the Giro, we won’t have someone for the overall.”
“It (Milan-San Remo) is in doubt because we’re a new team and have no direct selection.”
Bruyneel confirmed that Team RadioShack would ride the Vuelta a España, whatever the outcome of the talks regarding the Giro d’Italia.