Aleksandr Vlasov hopes to carry Bora-Hansgrohe into the elite at Tour de France
German-backed team brings a balanced team with ambitions for the final podium and a stage win before the Tour hits Paris.
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Bora-Hansgrohe hopes to confirm its status as the peloton’s arriviste with a strong Tour de France.
Just weeks after winning the Giro d’Italia with Jai Hindley, the German-backed team confirmed its starting eight riders for the Tour, with Aleksandr Vlasov taking the reins as GC captain.
“We don’t want race in a traditional way. We want to be aggressive and be part of every scenario in the GC stages,” said sport manager Rolf Aldag. “Vlasov will be our leader.”
Also read: How Bora-Hansgrohe evolved into a grand tour powerhouse
The team already turned the page on the Peter Sagan era earlier this season when it came swinging out of the gates scoring some big wins, with overall victories at Valencia and Romandie with newcomer Vlasov.
Team founder Ralph Denk said the team is aiming for the final podium in France.
“We’ve had three top-10 places in the past few years, we are dreaming of the podium,” Denk said. “We know it’s a tough goal, but when we see the results of Vlasov so far in 2022, we will support him in all terrains. It would be nice if we could achieve a stage win as well, and I will be quite happy in Paris if we achieve these goals. I believe in our roster.”
That’s a lot of pressure on Vlasov, who is making his Tour debut after hitting fourth in the 2021 Giro.
Vlasov rode into the leader’s jersey at the Tour de Suisse, but was forced to leave following a COVID-19 diagnosis. The Russian national will be racing as a neutral rider throughout the Tour.
The team also hopes to try to win at least one stage, and will count on riders like Lennard Kämna, Neils Politt, Felix Froßschartner, and Max Schachmann to be on the attack on choice moments.
Bora-Hansgrohe vows to race aggressively, and like every team, is pointing to Tadej Pogačar as the five-star favorite.
“It will be everyone against Pogačar,” Denk said. “We were hoping that somehow he might crack in the first week, but after watching what he did during the spring classics, maybe that won’t be possible.
“We have to be there if something goes wrong, and we have to grab our chance. We have to be prepared and on the line.”
Bora-Hansgrohe’s 2022 Tour de France team
Danny van Poppel