Tour de France news shorts: Bouhanni confirmed to start despite crash injuries

Bouhanni to start Tour de France after Nationals crash

Cofidis announced on Monday via Twitter that their sprinter Nacer Bouhanni will participate in this year’s Tour de France set to start on Saturday in Utrecht.

The Frenchman was involved in a high-speed crash during the final sprint at the road national championships on Sunday, after FDJ rider Anthony Roux made an abrupt move across the road in front of him. Bouhanni had x-rays taken following the crash, which showed no fractures but he does have cartilage damage between his ribs.

This will be Bouhanni’s second start at the Tour de France. He also competed in the 2013 edition of the race, however, pulled out due to illness after six stages.

Cofidis, Credits Solutions team for the Tour de France: Nacer Bouhanni (Fra), Geoffrey Soupe (Ned), Christophe Laporte (Ned), Florian Senechal (Ned), Luis Angel Mate (Spa), Nicolas Edet (Ned), Julien Simon (Ned), Dani Navarro (Spa) and Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel)

Bakelants and Riblon complete Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Tour de France squad, Gaudin replaces Grestch

Jan Bakelants and Christophe Riblon will fill the remaining two spots on Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Tour de France line-up. The pair of riders were added to the roster on Monday.

“I am very happy to join the team,” Bakelants said in a team press release. “Tour de France is the most important race in the world. I have already won a stage and I wore the jersey. I am ready to fight for the team and to try to win another stage.”

The team had announced the first seven spots last Friday including GC riders Jean-Christophe Péraud, who was second overall at the event last year, and Romain Bardet, who was sixth overall. However, they decided not to announce the final two spots until after the series road national championships held over the weekend.

The team’s general manager Vincent Lavenu said that Riblon and the team directors initially had doubts about his participation in the Tour de France after he dropped out of the Critérium du Dauphiné on stage 6, however, they believed that his performances at the Route du Sud and French championships “proved he s back.”

Lavenu added that, “Christophe is an important rider of our team since more than 11 years. We are glad he can join the team.”

Lavenu also noted that Bakelants’ aggressive racing style was one of the main reasons that he was added to the team. The Belgian was second in a stage at the Tour de Romandie in April and recently second in a stage at the Tour de Suisse.

“Jan is a consistent rider, always attacking. He is able to win the biggest races. He will work for the leaders but we hope he will have the possibility to take his chance.”

The team also announce that they had replaced Patrick Grestch with Damien Gaudin because the German rider has displayed poor fitness recently. “At first, we wanted to select Patrick after his excellent results during the Giro like his fourth place at the time trial," Lavenu said. "However, he has not fulfilled the expectations of the team since the Route du Sud. We we're obliged to reconsider our decision when Patrick showed an important loss of form. His health is what counts most for us and we wish him to get well soon.

"On the other hand, Damien Gaudin's results during the French championship and recently in the Tour de Suisse demonstrated he could be a valuable rider for our nine-man Tour de France squad."

Ag2r-La Mondiale for the Tour de France: Romain Bardet (Fra), Mikael Cherel (Fra), Ben Gastauer (Ned), Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra), Johan Vansummeren (Bel), Damien Gaudin (Fra), Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra), Jan Bakelants (Bel) and Christophe Riblon (Fra)

Lampre-Merida announce nine-man team to include Costa, Durasek and Valls

Lampre-Merida announced on Monday that they have completed their nine-man roster for the Tour de France.

Portuguese road champion Rui Costa will lead the team after his strong performance at the recent Tour de Suisse, where he won the sixth stage and placed third overall behind winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and runner-up Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

The team will also include climbers Kristijan Durasek, who won the Tour de Turkey title in May and the second stage of the Tour de Suisse this month, Rafael Valls, Matteo Bono and José Serpa.

Breakaway riders and opportunists will include Nelson Oliveria, who won the Portuguese time trial championships, Rubén Molina and Filippo Pozzato. And the team will field one sprinter, Davide Cimolai.

Lampre-Merida team for the Tour de France: Matteo Bono (Ita), Davide Cimolai (Ita), Rui Costa (Por), Kristijan Durasek (Cro), Nelson Oliveira (Por), Rubèn Plaza Molina (Spa), Filippo Pozzato (Ita) and Josè Serpa (Col)

Bretagne-Séché Environnement add remaining three riders to roster

Emmanuel Hubert, Bretagne-Séché Environnement’s general manager, along with the team’s staff have selected the final three riders that will take part in the Tour de France. Frédéric Brun, Armindo Fonseca and Pierre-Luc Périchon will join their six teammates on the start line in Utrecht. It is one of five teams that organisers ASO granted wild card invitations to this year.

Frédéric Brun, 26, suffered through illness while racing with Auber 93 last season but landed a spot on Bretagne-Séché Environnement for 2015. He recently had a strong fifth-place performance at the Tour des Pays de Savoie, which helped land him the Tour spot. "I just picked up my progress after a very difficult year in 2014 due to toxoplasmosis [a parasitic disease],” he said. “Last July, I was running amateur events with Auber 93, I saw the Tour on TV and I was far from imagining to be twelve months later.”

Fonseca, 26, will be participating in his second consecutive Tour de France while Périchon, 28, will make his debut at the race. "The selection of Pierre-Luc is quite legitimate,” Hubert said. “He showed throughout the season a good consistency at a very good level, in different terrains such as Paris-Roubaix and the Tro-Bro Léon, the Boucles de la Mayenne, Tour de Langkawi or the Pays de Savoie. He deserves to be at the start of the Tour. "

The team named the first six riders to the earlier this month to include Eduardo Sepulveda, Anthony Delaplace, Pierrick Fedrigo, Brice Feillu, Arnaud Gerard and Florian Vachon.

Bretagne-Séché Environnement team for the Tour de France: Frédéric Brun (Fra), Armindo Fonseca (Fra), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra), Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg), Anthony Delaplace (Fra), Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra), Brice Feillu (Fra), Arnaud Gerard (Fra) and Florian Vachon (Fra)

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