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Riis announces Saxo Bank's long list for the Tour de France

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The Saxo Bank team took responsibility for the chase.

The Saxo Bank team took responsibility for the chase.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Race winner Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) quenches his thirst.

Race winner Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) quenches his thirst.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Frank Schleck with his Saxo Bank team.

Frank Schleck with his Saxo Bank team.
(Image credit: Patrik Pátek)

Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis has confirmed that the Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara top the team's long list for selection for the Tour de France, with seven riders competing for the remaining six spots.

Matti Breschel looks sure to ride the Tour for the first time this year, Riis said, despite the young Dane having a difficult Classics season, due to a knee injury.

“The medical bulletins on his damaged knee are extremely positive and it is purely as a safety measure that we making Matti rest for a while yet,” Riis said. Breschel will return to racing at the Amgen Tour of California, and most like thereafter ride the Tour de Suisse.

The remaining candidates for the Tour de France squad are Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Gustav Larsson, and Danish riders Jakob Fuglsang, Nicki Sørensen, and Chris Anker Sørensen.

Sørensen will ride the Giro d'Italia “and if everything develops as planned, I expect indeed that he is among the nine starting 3rd July in Rotterdam,” Riis said. Larsson and Nicki Sørensen will also ride the Giro.

“The final Tour selection will be made probably only during the Tour de Suisse, but with reservations, … I can now state that the team this year will consist of at least three Danes and probably four,” Riis said.