PARIS (AFP) — Tour de France champion Cadel Evans will head into his title defense next week with five riders in his BMC Racing team that helped him to success last year.
American George Hincapie, German Marcus Burghardt, Frenchman Amael Moinard, Italian Manuel Quinziato and Swiss rider Michael Schar were all present last July as Australian Evans won Australia’s first Tour de France.
BMC will this year boast three new recruits in Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen and Steven Cummings, who replace Brent Bookwalter and Steve Morabito, named as substitutes, and Ivan Santaromita.
“We have one objective: to defend Cadel’s title and bring him to the podium in Paris,” said director John Lelangue. “Everyone will know clearly what their job is during the three weeks of racing. Our roster has a really good balance, especially considering the parcours.”
The 35-year-old Evans added: “I know now that I can win it and my lead-up this year is nearly identical to what we did last year… We’re bringing an even stronger team to the Tour this year and the route would seem to favor me. But the time trials will change the dynamics of the race and some of the tactics of my rivals. But like last year, I’ll go to the Tour with my own plan, to ride my own race.”
Hincapie, who will be 39 on June 29 — a day before the Tour starts in Liège, Belgium, will take part in his 17th edition of the Tour de France, currently sharing the record number of participations with Dutch rider Joop Zoetemelk.
BMC Racing 2012 Tour de France roster
Marcus Burghardt (GER)
Steve Cummings (GBR)
Cadel Evans (AUS)
Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
George Hincapie (USA)
Amael Moinard (FRA)
Manuel Quinziato (ITA)
Michael Schar (SUI)
Tejay van Garderen (USA)
Reserves: Brent Bookwalter (USA), Steve Morabito (SUI)