Alberto Bettiol. Paddy Bevin. Nate Brown. Simon Clarke. Andrew Talansky. Taylor Phinney. Pierre Rolland. Rigoberto Uran. Dylan Van Baarle. Those nine got the call-up for the Cannondale-Drapac squad 2017 Tour de France squad. Four debutantes will certainly add to the team’s attacking, excited spirit and Tour veterans will balance the team.
The team heads into La Grande Boucle with multiple objectives: on one hand, the team will attack and search for chances on every inch of road during the sport’s biggest race, and on the other hand the team will balance dual general classification hopes with Uran and Talansky.
Talansky has finished 10th and 11th at the Tour de France in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Uran has ridden the Tour three times, and finished second on two occasions at the Giro d’Italia. The team also goes in with two-time stage winner Pierre Rolland, fresh off a victory at the season’s opening grand tour.
“We’re going in with two GC leaders. Andrew and Rigo. But neither of those GC projects will hinder us from going after stage wins,” said sport director Charly Wegelius. “When I look at this team, I see enthusiasm. I see potential. I see real, quality engines there. And I see a group of people who are really prepared to support one another. I see energy. It’s all the things we say we are.
“We want people with the enthusiasm to take every single chance that comes, even if they’re small ones. We want riders fighting for stages they have a smaller chance of winning as if they were stages they had a high probability of winning. We’ve got to go after everything with the same kind of hunger the group at the Giro showed. Because they exploited everything.”
“Charly did a great job selecting a dynamic group of riders for this Tour,” said Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “I have confidence in the riders, but I also have confidence in the entire staff representing us in France, from the soigneurs to the directors and mechanics. It’s going to be fun to watch.”