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EF Pro Cycling will start the Tour de France this weekend with “general classification ambitions” while also featuring a line-up that can “look at stages opportunistically, given race situations.”
In a press release sent out Tuesday European time, the American team confirmed its eight-strong squad for the world’s biggest bike race; a squad headlined by an imposing trio of Colombian GC contenders.
Rigoberto Uran finished second at the 2017 Tour, Colombian champion Sergio Higuita won a stage in his debut Grand Tour last year, and Dani Martinez won the Criterium du Dauphine a little over a week ago. All three will start the Tour in Nice this Saturday, and all will be among the riders to watch when the race heads into the mountains.
“This is going to be my first Tour de France and I can honestly say I’ve never been so excited to be racing,” said Higuita. “To be going to the Tour is a huge goal for many cyclists and for me it’s incredible to think that in a few days I’ll be there achieving one of my biggest life goals, to line up on that startline. Also to be doing it wearing the Colombian national champion jersey makes it all the more special.”
Higuita isn’t the only EF rider making his Tour debut — so too are British rider Hugh Carthy and American Neilson Powless.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to the team for this incredible opportunity, that I finally get the chance to realise my dream and race the Tour de France, and racing the Tour de France on an American team is a super special feeling,” Powless said. “I think that we’re also bringing a really strong team and that too is really motivating.
“With Dani just coming off of the Dauphiné win that’s incredibly motivating for me and the rest of the team. I think that everyone is really ready to race for 21 days and I’m certainly prepared to do whatever I can to help the team.”
Also on the line-up is American veteran Tejay van Garderen in what will be his ninth Tour de France. While Van Garderen has managed two fifth-place finishes at the Tour in his career, he’ll be in more of a support role in 2020.
“Hopefully I can give a little bit of my experience and help these guys along and just do whatever I can to help the team,” the 32-year-old said. “Hopefully we can make this 2020 Tour a huge success.”
Completing the roster are last year’s Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol and Jens Keukeleire.
The 2020 Tour de France starts this Saturday August 29 in Nice and finishes in Paris on Sunday September 20.