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The 13-rider pre-selection includes both Demare and Bouhanni but while Demare's lead-out train has made the list, there is no room for the riders that usually support Bouhanni

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ALEXANDRE GENIEZ

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ARNAUD DEMARE

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ARNOLD JEANNESSON

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ARTHUR VICHOT

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FRANCIS MOUREY

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GROUPAMA-FDJ

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MATTHIEU LADAGNOUS

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MICKAEL DELAGE

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NACER BOUHANNI

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THIBAUT PINOT

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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WILLIAM BONNET

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YOANN OFFREDO

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04.06.2014 @ 10:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

There's still plenty of room for the discussion in the FDJ camp regarding the possibility that Nacer Bouhanni and Arnaud Demare can co-exist in the same Tour de France team after the team has released a long list for the world's biggest race. Both sprinters have been included in the 13-rider pre-selection but while Demare's trusted lead-out men are also still i contention, there was no room for the riders that usually support Bouhanni.

 

With two of the most talented sprinters in their roster, FDJ have had a very difficult task of designing race schedules that satisfy both  Arnaud Demare's and Nacer Bouhanni's wishes. In 2013 things seemed to work pretty well as Demare decided to focus on the one-day races and Bouhanni did both the Tour and the Giro.

 

This year, however, the two sprinters have clashed on a number of occasions. Both riders made Milan-Sanremo one of their early-season goals but Bouhanni was taken off the roster only a few days before the start. The Frenchman publicly vented his frustration and made it clear that a change of teams is a possibility when his contract expires at the end of the year.

 

Last year Bouhanni made his Tour de France debut and this year, Demare has made the French race the biggest target of his year. Having just finished a successful Giro d'Italia that included three stage wins and the points jersey, however, Bouhanni also plans to return to the race, making the clash unavoidable.

 

French media have speculated that Bouhanni will again miss out - especially if he plans to leave the team at the end of the year - but at the moment, the former French champion is still in contention. The team has announced a 13-rider preselection that includes both of its fast finishers.

 

However, Bouhanni must still be worried about his prospects. While Demare's usual lead-out men Mickael Delage and William Bonnet are both on the list, there is no room for Sebastien Chavanel, Geoffrey Soupe and Murilo Fischer who usually form part of Bouhanni's support crew. This indicates that the sprint train is likely to be built around Demare.

 

In addition to the sprint division, there is also ample support for Thibaut Pinot who is aimining at the GC. Alexandre Geniez, Francis Mourey and Arnold Jeannesson are both part of the selection and should provide valuable assistance in the mountains.

 

French champion Arhur Vichot is likely to make the cut as he continues his return from injury, while TT specialist Jeremy Roy, trusted domestique Cedric Pineau and classics riders Matthieu Ladagnous and Yoann Offredo complete the list.

 

Demare and Pinot will finalize their preparation in the Criterium the Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse respectively while it is still unknown whether Bouhanni will do any races in between the Giro and the Tour. The final roster is likely to be announced after the French road race championships one week prior to the Grand Depart.

 

FDJ long list for the Tour de France:

Nacer Bouhanni, Arnaud Demare, Mickael Delage, William Bonnet, Matthieu Ladagnous, Cedric Pineau, Yoann Offredo, Arthur Vichot, Thiabut Pinot, Alexandre Geniez, Arnold Jeannesson, Francis Mourey and Jeremy Roy

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