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"For the rest, everybody knows our main objectives will be the stage wins with Cavendish and a new experience in the Tour with Kwiatkowski to make another improvement, a new step in his career," Aldag says

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ALESSANDRO PETACCHI

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GERT STEEGMANS

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JAN BAKELANTS

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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MARTIN VELITS

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MATTEO TRENTIN

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MICHAL GOLAS

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MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI

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NIKI TERPSTRA

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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THOMAS DE GENDT

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TONY MARTIN

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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16.06.2014 @ 18:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have announced a 13-rider long list for the Tour de France from which they will select the final 9-rider roster. The team will head to France with two objectives: stage wins for Mark Cavendish and the overall standings with Michal Kwiatkowski.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have narrowed down the list of possible starters at the Tour de France after announcing a 13-rider long list for the world's biggest race. As expected, the team will be built around Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwiatkowski who will target the sprint stages and the GC respectively.

 

For Cavendish, the Tour de France - and especially the opening stage into Harrogate - is his biggest objective for the 2014 season and he has skipped the Giro in an attempt to be at 100% for the French race. The entire lead-out train is included on the long list as Mark Renshaw, Alessandro Petacchi, Gert Steegmans and Matteo Trentin are all still in contention.

 

Kwiatkowski will line up at the race for the second time after finishing 11th in his debut 12 months ago. After a poor performance in the Dauphiné, however, he will undergo a physical check to make sure that there is nothing wrong with his health as he heads into the most important race of his season.

 

While Cavendish can expect a lot of support, Kwiatkowski will be mostly on his own in the mountains. However, Jan Bakelants and Thomas De Gendy are both on the list and can deliver valuable support as can Tony Martin who will target the long time trial and will also be useful in the lead-outs.

 

Paris-Robaix champion Niki Terpstra, Michal Golas and Martin Velits could be included in the line-up to chase down breakaways and Terpstra also has a lot of lead-out experience.

 

Tom Boonen is also included on the list but earlier today he told Belgian media that he is unlikely to do the race. He plans to focus on the world championships and will use the Vuelta as preparation. He plans to go to the Spanish stage race as the lead sprinter for his team but will again miss the Tour which he hasn't done since 2011.

 

However, he is still on the list as he has accepted to be included as a reserve in case his team needs him.

 

“We will announce the nine names of the riders who are selected for the Tour only on Monday after Tour de Suisse,” Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. “We want to see how things will be there first, and be sure everybody is healthy and ready for the competition.

 

"All 13 names are important. Those guys showed to the team great commitment whether they will be in the final selection of 9 or not. They are all ready and fit for the race.

 

"We appreciate the availability also of a guy like Tom Boonen. He’s the only one who knows already he will be one of the reserves. He shows again that he is a great professional and he really cares about this team. We know we can count on him if we need him at the very last moment.

 

"For the rest, everybody knows our main objectives will be the stage wins with Cavendish and a new experience in the Tour with Kwiatkowski to make another improvement, a new step in his career. We will build our team around those two guys to be a competitive and strong team in order to try and reach our goals.”

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