Trek-Segafredo have confirmed their Tour de France ambitions will be built around Richie Porte, with the Australian targeting a place on the final podium in Paris. As expected, there is no place for John Degenkolb, as Trek-Segafredo focus on the overall classification.
The German Classics specialist and sprinter revealed he will take a family holiday in July and then prepare for the Tour du Pologne and the Vuelta a España. Edward Theuns also missed out on a spot.
Porte will have the support of Bauke Mollema, Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone, Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline, Toms Skujins and Jasper Stuyven. Mollema finished a solid fifth in the Giro d'Italia, while new-signing Ciccone was one of the revelations of the Corsa Rosa, winning a stage and the mountains competition after often going in the break of the day.
Porte was slightly off the pace at the Critérium du Dauphiné but has spent time training at altitude in the French Alps, mixing long rides with reconnaissance of key stages. Porte started his season on a high note, taking his sixth consecutive win on Willunga Hill at the Tour Down Under and finishing second overall to Mitchelton-Scott's Daryl Impey. However he came down with bronchitis soon after, forcing him to miss Paris-Nice. He then opted to ride the Tour of California and attend a training camp in Utah in May.
He crashed out of the 2018 Tour de France on the cobbled stage to Roubaix. He also crashed out of the 2017 races on a descent, again during stage 9. He moved to Trek-Segafredo for the 2019 season and is aiming high this July.
"Obviously I'd love to be on the podium in Paris but I know it's going to be a hell of a fight," Porte said when the Trek-Segafredo team was confirmed.
"I think we have a well rounded team. I think what we have done well going into this race is controlling the things we can control and not getting distracted by how things have gone so far this season. In a lot of ways I feel a lot less pressure than in past years and am very motivated to fight hard over the three weeks."
Degenkolb confirmed he would not ride the Tour de France as Trek-Segafredo began to real its eight riders during Friday afternoon.
"Next weekend is the grand depart of Le Tour de France and yes, rumours were right. It will be a grand boucle without DEGE," he wrote on Facebook.
"We've played through different options in the team and the Trek-Segafredo squad is focusing all its attention on Richie Porte and the GC. A decision that I fully accept, and after 6 participations in a row, the decision to not ride the Tour this year is pretty OK with me.
"For the first time since ages I'll do a short summer holiday with my family and then will start an altitude trainings camp to get ready for my next races at Tour de Pologne and La Vuelta."
Trek-Segafredo for the 2019 Tour de France: Bauke Mollema, Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone, Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline, Toms Skujins and Jasper Stuyven.
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