Sagan and Majka headline Bora-Hansgrohe Tour de France long list

Peter Sagan and Rafal Majka have been confirmed as Bora-Hansgrohe's leaders for the Tour de France, with the German team unveiling a long list of 12 riders in the running to support them. 

Majka will lead the team's general classification bid, while Sagan will hunt victories across a variety of stages and a sixth straight green jersey. 

The team will make its final decision on selection after June's Tour de Suisse, with 12 riders vying for the remaining seven places on the nine-man squad. Six of them are German, meaning their should be a strong home contingent for the Dusseldoorf Grand Départ, but general manager Ralph Denk insisted decisions will be based on class and form, not nationality. 

"It's always a hard decision, everybody wants to ride the Tour de France. Especially this year with the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf, it will be a lifetime memory for every German rider and a stepping stone for German cycling," said Denk in a statement on Wednesday. 

"In our long list, we have almost 50 per cent riders from Germany, but of course the best riders will be on the start in Düsseldorf at the end. Still, I am proud that six German riders are on our list today."

Those riders are Emanuel Buchmann, Marcus Burghardt, Christoph Pfingsten, Andreas Schillinger, Michael Schwarzmann, and Rudiger Selig. Burghardt is likely to support Sagan at the Tour de Suisse, along with the world champion's closest domestique, Maciej Bodnar, and fellow long listers Patrick Konrad, Jay McCarthy, and Juraj Sagan. Majka is set to head to the Tour of Slovenia, alongside Selig and Konig. The rest of the German riders will be at the Critérium du Dauphiné. 

"With Peter and Rafal we have ambitious goals, the green jersey, a top five result in the GC and the first stage win for our team at the Tour de France," added Denk. "And I think we have a strong roster to achieve those goals."

Bora-Hansgrohe long list for the Tour de France: Maciej Bodnar (Pol), Emanuel Buchmann (Ger), Marcus Burghardt (Ger), Leopold König (Cze), Patrick Konrad (Aut), Rafal Majka (Pol), Jay McCarthy (Aus), Christoph Pfingsten (Ger), Pawel Poljanski (Pol), Juraj Sagan (Svk), Peter Sagan (Svk), Andreas Schillinger (Ger), Michael Schwarzmann (Ger), Rüdiger Selig (Ger).

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