SAXO BANK CHIEF Bjarne Riis remained upbeat as he named his nine-man team for this summer’s Tour de France today without suspended former champion Alberto Contador.
Spaniard Contador was banned for two years after testing positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, and he was subsequently stripped of the title he won that year.
“I’m convinced it’s possible,” said Riis as he named their line-up for the Tour which gets underway in Liege, Belgium on 30 June.
Argentine Juan Jose Haedo will be their leading hope on the sprints with Dane Chris Anker Soerensen targetting the mountain stages and top climber’s jersey.
Saxo Bank team: Jonathan Cantwell (AUS), Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), Karsten Kroon (NED), Anders Lund (DEN), Michael Morkov (DEN), Nick Nuyens (BEL), Sergio Paulinho (POR), Chris Anker Soerensen (DEN), Nicki Soerensen (DEN).