Tankink fills final Rabobank Tour squad spot

Bram Tankink (Rabobank) leads the mountains competition in the Dauphine.

Bram Tankink (Rabobank) leads the mountains competition in the Dauphine. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Bram Tankink will be the ninth man on the Rabobank Tour de France squad, taking the place of the injured Laurens ten Dam. The Dutch ProTour team announced Monday evening that Tankink would fill the final spot.

Rabobank was the first team to announced its Tour de France line-up, on June 3, with Tankink and Peter Weening as the reserve riders.

Ten Dam was named to the original squad but fractured two vertebrae and a wrist in a crash in the Tour de Suisse. He was re-injured Monday in an auto accident.

The team waited until after the Tour de Suisse and the Ster Elektrotoer to choose its final rider. "The choice was very difficult and we were aware of that when we presented Weening and Tankink as reserves,” said technical director Erik Breukink. “Bram is just a little more versatile than Peter, just slightly more usable in all areas. But they were very close. "

Rabobank will be led by 2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov, with Robert Gesink and Oscar Freire also expected to play important roles.

Rabobank for the Tour de France: Denis Menchov, Robert Gesink, Oscar Freire, Lars Boom, Grischa Niermann, Koos Moerenhout, Maarten Tjallingii,Bram Tankink and Juan ;Manuel Garate.

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