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France’s Française des Jeux team has narrowed its Tour de France list down to eight.
The team will largely forget about challenging for the GC, and instead hope to earn some headlines through attacks, perhaps a spell in some of the jerseys early on or, ideally, win a stage or two.
“We want to be in breakaways, add a spark to the race and give something for the fans to cheer about,” said team manager Marc Madiot. “Casar will be our top man, but is it better for him to try to win another stage or finish in the top 15 again?”
Sandy Casar, 30, will be the team’s leader. A consistent performer with a handful of top-15s, Casar earned a breakout stage victory in 2008. A similar ride would be considered a success again this year.
The team has left sprinter Sébastien Chavanel at home, but Anthony Geslin will be the man’s best hope for the mass gallops.
Riders such as Jerome Coppel, Christophe LeMevel and Benoit Vaugrenard will have free reign to try to liven up the race with breakaways.
Curiously, climbing sensation Remi Di Gregorio is one of the riders still on the bubble. The 23-year-old has started two Tours, but still is not confirmed for the July 4 start.
Française des Jeux for 2009 Tour de France
- Sandy Casar (F)
- Jerome Coppel (F)
- Anthony Geslin (F)
- Yahueni Hutarovich (Blr)
- Christophe LeMevel (F)
- Benoit Vaugrenard (F)
- Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)
* final spot will go to Remi Di Gregorio or Jeremy Roy