Pro CyclingTour de France

Tour de France 2015 Start List

Le Tour starts on Saturday, and by now all of the teams have announced who will be riding as part of the 9 man squad.

Here’s our breakdown of who the team’s are taking, it’s leader if they have one and their ambitions for the race:

AG2R-La Mondiale

  • Jean Christophe-Peraud (Fra)
  • Romain Bardet (Fra)
  • Christophe Riblon (Fra)
  • Jan Bakelandts (Bel)
  • Mikael Cherel (Fra)
  • Ben Gastauer (Ned)
  • Damien Gaudin (Ger)
  • Johan Vansummeren (Bel)
  • Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra)
Peraud finished on the podium last year so he is rightfully captain, but the team has a good GC backup in Romain Bardet if Peraud loses contention. Good for breakaways, AG2R has plenty of riders capable of taking stage wins from breakaway positions which they may have to do if their GC hopes are dashed. 
Bardet is also a handy climber, so look out for him on the mountains as he may pursue the KOM jersey, although with Peraud in the team he might not have much support from his team mates as they look to protect the GC.

Astana

  • Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
  • Lars Boom (Ned)
  • Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
  • Andrei Grivko (Ukr)
  • Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)
  • Tanel Kangert (Est)
  • Michele Scarponi (Ita)
  • Rein Taaramae (Est)
  • Lieuwe Westra (Ned)
Astana field a strong team for the tour as they look to defend Nibali’s title as reigning Tour Champion. Super domestiques Westra, Fuglsang and Boom provide plenty of firepower should the team need it, and riders such as Kangert and Scarponi are more than capable of marking the attacks throughout the race for their leader. 
Expect to see Astana near the front of the peloton as they protect Nibali, their tactics in the Giro d’Italia were to mass riders at the front to keep everyone out of trouble and set a high tempo when needed. 

BMC Racing

  • Tejay Van Garderen (USA)
  • Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)
  • Damiano Caruso (Ita)
  • Rohan Dennis (Aus)
  • Daniel Oss (Ita)
  • Manual Quinziato (Ita)
  • Samuel Sanchez (Spa)
  • Michael Schar (Swi)
  • Danilo Wyss (Swi)
BMC have brought Tejay Van Garderen to Le Tour wirh GC ambitions and they will set their stall out early on with a strong team including classics regular Van Avermaet and the experienced heads of Sanchez and Caruso to guide them. 
The Team Time Trial World Champions won’t have much opportunity to show their rainbow stripes with only a 28km Team Time Trial on Stage 12. This probably won’t be enough of a distance to create a big enough gap in the GC for Van Garderen to distance his GC rivals, but the team has plenty of scope for stage wins if the GC becomes unwinnable.

Bora-Argon 18

  • Emanual Buchmann (Ger)
  • Jan Barta (Cze)
  • Sam Bennett (Ire)
  • Zak Dempster (Aus)
  • Bartosz Huzarski (Pol)
  • Jose Mendes (Por)
  • Dominik Nerz (Ger)
  • Andreas Schillinger (Ger)
  • Paul Voss (Ger)
Bora-Argon 18 are making their first appearance in the Tour de France this year and will be hunting stage wins. Buchmann won the 2015 German National Championships so will be racing in his national colours for the team.
Sam Bennett is a handy sprinter too so keep an eye out for the team in the bunch sprints as they will be trying to take as many stage wins as possible. 

Bretagne-Séché Environnement

  • Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg)
  • Frederix Brun (Fra)
  • Anthony Delaplace (Fra)
  • Brice Feillu (Fra)
  • Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra)
  • Armindo Fonseca (Fra)
  • Arnaud Gerard (Fra)
  • Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra)
  • Florian Vachon (Fra)
Another wildcard invite, this is Bretagne’s second invite to the race in as many years. In last year’s Tour their kit was white and for 2015 they chose the unusual path of completely changing their colours for the new season. 
Breakaway specialists, expect to see at least one of their riders in the break everyday. Throughout the classics season and the early race season they were a common feature in the breakaways, getting plenty of airtime for their sponsors. They will be hunting stage wins although these are more likely to come from late attacks in the break than out-sprinting rivals. 

Cofidis, Solutions Credits

  • Nacer Bouhanni (Fra)
  • Nicholas Edet (Fra)
  • Geoffrey Soupe (Fra)
  • Christophe Laporte (Fra)
  • Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel)
  • Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa)
  • Cyril Lemoine (Fra)
  • Florian Senechal (Fra)
  • Julien Simon (Fra)
Bouhanni is the leader for Cofidis and will look to challenge Peter Sagan for the green jersey of the points classification. A sprinter known for his ability to surf the wheels, don’t expect to see him around his team too much; especially in the final few kilometers of the stage. 
Cofidis are a team that try to get in the breakaway but more often then not are invisible in the peloton. Their riders may appear in the break but the lack of a leadout train for Bouhanni or a real threat in the mountains makes the French sprinter their only real chance at glory, although whether he has the ability to take more points overall than Sagan is doubtful.

Etixx-QuickStep

  • Mark Cavendish (GBr)
  • Michael Kwiatkowski (Pol)
  • Matteo Trentin (Ita)
  • Michal Golas (Pol)
  • Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col)
  • Tony Martin (Ger)
  • Julien Vermote (Bel)
  • Mark Renshaw (Aus)
  • Zdenek Stybar (Cze)
Etixx-QuickStep are a team that have brought a mixed squad to the Tour. They have the dynamic duo of Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw to hunt for sprint wins as part of a formidable lead-out train including former World TT Champion Tony Martin and Matteo Trentin, but they’ve also brought GC rider Rigoberto Uran. There’s also World Champion Kwiatkowski who will be showcasing his rainbow bands, and he is more than capable of attacking n breakaways or late in a stage to take a win.
Expect Cavendish to be contending for the green points jersey whilst Uran tries to get himself into a good GC position, but it’s unclear yet as to what the overall goal of the Tour is for Etixx; they could just be hunting stage wins.

FDJ

  • Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
  • William Bonnet (Fra)
  • Steve Morabito (Swi)
  • Sebastien Chavanel (Fra)
  • Jeremy Roy (Fra)
  • Arnaud Demare (Fra)
  • Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra)
  • Alexandre Geniez (Fra)
  • Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)
Thibaut Pinot is a GC contender for FDJ, although whether he has a strong enough team to support him compared to the other GC teams is yet to be seen. The team has plenty of experience, with Steve Morabito and Sebastien Chavanel bringing some useful knowledge into a young side that boasts promise for France in the future. 
FDJ usually hunt stage wins in the Tour, but with Pinot having a great season so far and being close to victory in the Tour of Switzerland it is likely that the team will focus on his GC campaign for as long as they can. If Pinot drops out of contention, expect the sprinting ability of Demare to come to the fore for stage wins. 

IAM Cycling

  • Mathias Frank (Swi)
  • Matthias Brandle (Aus)
  • Reto Hollenstein (Swi)
  • Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
  • Jarlinson Pantano (Col)
  • Stef Clement (Ned)
  • Marcel Wyss (Swi)
  • Jerome Coppel (Fra)
  • Martin Elmiger (Swi)
The newest World Tour team, expect IAM Cycling to be in the breakaway regularly as they hunt for stage wins. There’s plenty of ability in the squad with former hour record holder Matthias Brandle and Sylvain Chavanel, a man who knows his way around the Tour de France. 
There’s plenty of climbing ability too, but it’s unlikely that they will have the strength or riders strong enough to challenge for the KOM jersey. 

Lampre-Merida

  • Matteo Bono (Ita)
  • Davide Cimolai (Ita)
  • Kristijan Durasek (Cro)
  • Rafael Valls (Spa)
  • Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita)
  • Nelson Oliveira (Por)
  • Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
  • Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa)
  • Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
Lampre come to the Tour de France with one thing in mind: stage wins. They have s formidable finishing force with Pozzato, Ferrari and Cimolai all capable of launching sprints that could take stages in the race. 
Although they won’t be contending for the green points jersey, they will be more than happy to experience similar success to the Giro d’Italia where they won four stages. Expect to see them massed at the front of the peloton in the closing stages of each day to try and take victory.

Lotto-Soudal

  • Andre Greipel (Ger)
  • Thomas De Gendt (Bel)
  • Marcel Sieberg (Ger)
  • Jens Debusschere (Bel)
  • Tim Wellens (Bel)
  • Tony Gallopin (Fra)
  • Kris Boeckmans (Bel)
  • Adam Hansen (Aus)
  • Gregory Henderson (NZl)
Andre Greipel will be trying to get stage wins with a view to taking the points classification, but his lack of climbing ability means that other riders going for the green jersey may have the edge on him in that respect. Either way if there’s a bunch sprint on expect Lotto-Soudal to work hard for the big German.
If a bunch sprint isn’t on then the team has plenty of reserve options. Adam Hansen will be starting the Tour again and is known for late attacks that can win stages, along with Tim Wellens, Tony Gallppin and Gregory Henderson who all have proven abilities to win stages at big events with solo efforts. 

Movistar

  • Nairo Quintana (Col)
  • Alejandro Valverde (Spa)
  • Winner Anacona (Col)
  • Alex Dowsett (GBr)
  • Francisco Ventoso (Spa)
  • Jose Herrada Lopez (Spa)
  • Gorka Izaguirre (Spa)
  • Adriano Malori (Ita)
  • Rory Sutherland (Aus)
Quintana and Valverde will be battling for the GC top-spot to take the yellow jersey at the Tour. Neither have won it and it looks like Movistar are taking the route of picking their two best GC hopefuls and running them parallel. It will be interesting to see who ends up working for whom in the team and it could cause a split or confusion amongst them. 
Briton Alex Dowsett makes his Tour debut, but don’t expect to see him too often as he will be working for his leaders, although he could be in with a chance of victory in the opening time trial. 

MTN-Qhubeka 

  • Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri)
  • Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor)
  • Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri)
  • Stephen Cummings (GBr)
  • Louis Mentjes (RSA)
  • Tyler Farrar (USA)
  • Serge Pauwels (Bel)
  • Jacques Janse Van Rensberg (RSA)
  • Reinardt Janse Van Rensberg (RSA)
The first African team to compete in the Tour de France is another wildcard entry for the Tour, and will be a landmark even in it’s history. Danial Teklehaimanot won the team’s first jersey by taking the mountains classification at the Tour of Switzerland, so expect him to be a contender for the KOM points early on in the race. 
MTN-Qhubeka will be looking to make a name for themselves and get another invite next year, so expect plenty of explosive action from them both in the breakaway, on the mountains and in the final sprints.

Orica-GreenEdge

  • Michael Matthews (Aus)
  • Simon Gerrans (Aus)
  • Michael Albasini (Swi)
  • Pieter Weening (Ned)
  • Luke Durbridge (Aus)
  • Adam Yates (GBr)
  • Daryl Impey (RSA)
  • Simon Yates (GBr)
  • Svein Tuft (Swi)
Orica-GreenEdge will be working for stage wins with a view to putting Michael Matthews or Simon Gerrans into the green jersey early on to lead the points classifciation. Orica have a brilliant lead out team and often take stages in big events, so expect them to be a big feature in the first week of flat-ish stages. 
The Yates brothers will be in contention for mountains points although it is unlikely that either of them will have enough firepower in the mountains to retain the jersey if they take it in the first week. 

Team Cannondale-Garmin

  • Andrew Talansky (USA)
  • Daniel Martin (Ire)
  • Jack Bauer (NZl)
  • Nathan Haas (Aus)
  • Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu)
  • Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
  • Dylan Van Baarle (Ned)
  • Kristijan Koren (Slo)
  • Sebastian Langeveld (Ned)
Talansky and Martin both have GC capability and will be working to try and get into a good position to try for a podium or a top ten finish, but the number of strong GC contenders this year may see them overshadowed. Hesjedal is more than capable of launching attacks for stage wins and Bauer has good ability to get into a breakaway and survive to the end of the stage. 
Stage wins are the most likely solution for Cannondale-Garmin, but these will come from late attacks or out of the break as the team tries to consolidate a decent GC finish for Martin or Talansky.

Team Europcar

  • Pierre Rolland (Fra)
  • Bryan Coquard (Fra)
  • Romain Sicard (Fra)
  • Cyril Gautier (Fra)
  • Angelo Tulik (Fra)
  • Yohann Gene (Fra)
  • Thomas Voeckler (Fra)
  • Bryan Nauleau (Fra)
  • Perrig Quemeneur (Fra)
The all-French affair will be working for Pierre Rolland to take the KOM classification this year and they have a strong team to support him. Voeckler is well known for his climbing ability and will be a useful domestique for Rolland when the road really ramps up. 
As an outside chance in the sprints, Coquard has the potential to take some stage wins although with the team’s focus being the KOM classification he will have to rely on wheel-surfing to make his way to the front. 

Team Giant-Alpecin

  • John Degenkolb (Ger)
  • Warren Barguil (Fra)
  • Georg Preidler (Aus)
  • Roy Curvers (Fra)
  • Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)
  • Koen De Kort (Ned)
  • Albert Timmer (Ned)
  • Tom Dumoulin (Ned)
  • Simon Geschke (Ger)
John Degenkolb is the lucky man to have the Giant-Alpecin team at his disposal as he steps in for Marcel Kittel who was still recovering from a crash earlier on in the season. 
Giant-Alpecin will be going for the points classification for Degenkolb, who is a good enough sprinter to take the opportunities presented to him. Like other sprinters, his ability in the mountains might let him down in the classification but expect Giant to get a stage or two out of this Tour.

Team Katusha

  • Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa)
  • Gianpaolo Caruso (Ita)
  • Tiago Machado (Por)
  • Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita)
  • Luca Paolini (Ita)
  • Marco Haller (Aus)
  • Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus)
  • Dmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus)
  • Alexander Kristoff (Now)
Like Movistar, Katusha have brought a mixed bag to the Tour. They have GC hopeful Rodriguez with his favourite lieutenants Caruso and Paolini to protect him in the GC, but also Alexander Kristoff who is having an excellent season and will be working for stage wins. 
Although the GC is their goal for the Tour, you can expect to see some team members working for Kristoff on the flat stages to get him to a winning position to take stages, even though the green jersey may well be beyond his reach.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo

  • Wilco Kelderman (Ned)
  • Robert Gesink (Ned)
  • Laurens Ten Dam (Ned)
  • Steven Kruijswijk (Ned)
  • Jos Van Emden (Ned)
  • Thomas Leezer (Ned)
  • Sep Vanmarke (Bel)
  • Paul Martens (Ger)
  • Bram Tankink (Ned)
LottoNL-Jumbo will be working for a good GC position for Wilco Kelderman as they did last year when they were the Belkin team, but this year there’s much more ability in the team that could see him improve his GC chances. 
Kruijswijk had a brilliant Giro d’Italia and will be a good candidate for the KOM classification, although he is unlikely to have too much support from his team mates who will be working and protecting Kelderman. Don’t be surprised to see Kruijswijk in the break often to hoover up mountains points though.

Team Sky

  • Chris Froome (GBr)
  • Richie Porte (Aus)
  • Geraint Thomas (GBr)
  • Luke Rowe (GBr)
  • Leopold Konig (CZe)
  • Peter Kennaugh (GBr)
  • Ian Stananrd (GBr)
  • Wouter Poels (Ned)
  • Nicholas Roche (Ire)
Chris Froome is one of the favourites to win the Tour and he has a strong team to back up his bid. Team Sky are good at protecting their leaders and with Thomas, Stannard, Roche, Porte and current British Champion Kennaugh around him, Froome has a great launch-pad to win the yellow jersey. 
Expect them to try and control the race if they do get in yellow, but if not then expect plenty of attacks and counter attacks as Thomas, Porte and Roche try and loosen their competitors on the climbs.

Tinkoff-Saxo

  • Alberto Contador (Spa)
  • Ivan Basso (Ita)
  • Peter Sagan (Ita)
  • Daniele Bennati (Ita)
  • Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
  • Roman Kreuziger (Cze)
  • Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den)
  • Rafal Majka (Pol)
  • Michael Rogers (Aus)
Contador is another big favourite for the yellow jersey, although his chances might be reduced by already having won the Giro d’Italia and only having a month to recover. He has a strong teama round him with Rogers and Kreuziger who will be able to support him in the mountains although he is capable of looking after himself. 
Peter Sagan will be looking to defend his green points jersey and he will have the help of old Cannondale team mates Ivan Basso and Daniele Bennati; and Rafal Majka will want to defend his polka dot KOM jersey although he will have to fend for himself as Tinkoff-Saxo make the yellow jersey their goal.

Trek Factory Racing

  • Bauke Mollema (Ned)
  • Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
  • Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
  • Stijn Devolder (Bel)
  • Jasper Stuyven (Bel)
  • Laurent Didier (Fra)
  • Bob Jungels (Lux)
  • Gregory Rast (Swi)
Bauke Mollema is a GC contender although he will realistically be racing for a top ten or top five finish as his team isn’t as string as some other GC teams. Mollema finished well last year for Belkin and will be looking to improve his position this year if he can.
Trek will be hunting for stage wins if Mollema’s GC hopes don’t work out, and with Jasper Stuyvens and Bob Jungels they have two riders who can attack late or from the breakaway and take victory. 
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