Sam Bennett has been left out of the Bora-Hansgrohe squad for the Tour de France. The eight-man roster is instead built around the general classification challenge of Aleksandr Vlasov, who has recovered from the COVID-19 diagnosis that forced him to abandon the Tour de Suisse.
Max Schachmann and Marco Haller also make the team despite testing positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. The squad includes past Tour de France stage winners Nils Politt, Lennard Kämna and Patrick Konrad, as well as Danny van Poppel and Felix Großschartner.
“It’s never an easy decision because the roster is so strong, and we could easily have picked 10, 11 or 12 guys,” sports director Rolf Aldag said while announcing the team on the Bora-Hansgrohe podcast. “We have done well in stage races this year. As well as the Giro, we won Valencia, Catalunya and Romandie, which shows the direction the team need to go.”
Bennett was expected to form a key part of Bora-Hansgrohe’s Tour plans after rejoining the team from QuickStep during the off-season. He won two stages and the green jersey on his Tour last appearance in 2020, but he missed last year’s race due to injury.
The Irishman endured a difficult start to the 2022 campaign as he fought to regain form after a long lay-off, but a victory at Eschborn-Frankfurt on May 1 seemed to signal an upturn in his fortunes. Bennett’s most recent competitive outing came at the Baloise Belgium Tour, where he placed fourth on the final stage.
The team’s focus will now be primarily on the overall standings, with manager Ralph Denk maintaining that Vlasov had the potential to finish on the podium in his Tour debut. The Russian joined Bora-Hansgrohe from Astana during the winter and he has enjoyed a strong campaign in their colours, winning the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Tour de Romandie.
Vlasov won a stage of the Tour de Suisse earlier this month to take the race lead, but he was forced to abandon the race with COVID-19 ahead of the following day’s stage. In Vlasov’s absence, Sergio Higuita placed third overall at the Tour de Suisse. Higuita is scheduled to race the Vuelta a España this season.
“We are aiming for the podium. It’s a tough goal but when we see Aleksandr Vlasov’s results, it’s a realistic goal,” manager Ralph Denk said while announcing the line-up on the Bora-Hansgrohe squad’s podcast. “It would be nice if we could achieve a stage win as well.”
Bora-Hansgrohe team for the 2022 Tour de France
- Felix Großschartner
- Marco Haller
- Patrick Konrad
- Lennard Kämna
- Nils Politt
- Max Schachmann
- Danny van Poppel
- Aleksandr Vlasov
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