Martin and Rogers lead HTC-Columbia for Tour de France

Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) powered into the race lead.

Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) powered into the race lead. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Team HTC-Columbia is heading into the 2010 Tour de France with its eyes on the green jersey and the general classification. It has selected its nine-rider team with both goals in mind: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Bert Grabsch, Adam Hansen, Tony Martin, Maxime Monfort, Mark Renshaw, Michael Rogers and Kanstantsin Sivtsov.

"Selecting the team was very hard for us again this year," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag. "It was hard enough selecting a long list of 15, but to bring it down to only nine riders involved some very difficult decisions. In the end, we have to leave at home several riders who also deserve a chance to ride the Tour.

"Our decisions were based on two goals," he said. "First, we wanted a strong team to support Mark Cavendish and winning the Green jersey. To win, we need to concentrate all points with one sprinter. As a result, we have not included André Greipel in the roster. Mark won six stages of the Tour de France last year and we have faith that he will be highly successful in the 2010 Tour.

"Renshaw, Eisel, Grabsch and Hansen will be the main support for the sprint stages with, of course, the other riders also playing a part in the lead out train as well.

"Second, we wanted to field a team who can focus on the overall. Rogers has had the best season of his career to date and is very focused on contending in the general classification. Tony Martin comes off a very successful Tour de Suisse where he held the yellow jersey for the first part of the race and won the closing time trial.

"They will be supported by Maxime Monfort, who showed excellent form at Tour de Suisse, Adam Hansen, who won the Ster Elektro stage race last weekend and Kanstantsin Sivtsov who is a tireless worker on both flat and mountainous terrain."

"We are going into the race focused on our combined strength as a team and will exploit every chance for success - stage wins, jerseys and outstanding performances," said Team Owner Bob Stapleton.

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