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BERLIN (AFP) — World champion and five-time green jersey winner Peter Sagan and highly rated Polish climber Rafal Majka lead an ambitious Bora-Hansgrohe assault on the Tour de France. The German team will be racing for a home crowd with the Grand Départ set for Dusseldorf on July 1.
“We have to support two leaders and need a balance between guys for the flat, sprints, and climbers. I am confident we found that mix, and now we are ready and looking forward to the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf,” said Enrico Poitschke, Bora-Hansgrohe sport director.
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In Sagan, Bora-Hansgrohe has cycling’s charismatic showman and maverick fan favorite. He will be targeting several stages as well as a sixth straight green jersey. German Erik Zabel holds the record of six green jerseys. Sagan, 27, has won seven Tour stages. He could start adding to that tally as early as the Tour’s stage 3, which has a short finish climb to Longwy. He will be flanked by his brother Juraj, who has become a regular part of Sagan’s preferred team roster in big races.
Majka won the celebrated polka-dot king of the mountains jersey on the 2014 and 2016 Tours and has won three summit finishes. He was also third in the 2015 Vuelta a España and fifth in the Tour last year. Up-and-coming Aussie Jay McCarthy will support the Pole in the mountains. McCarthy was third overall at the Tour Down Under at the start of 2017.
Bora also has a wild-card to play in the mountains. Emanuel Buchmann, 24, romped through the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier in June. The German youngster finished seventh overall, behind Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), who was second in the 2015 Tour.
Bora-Hansgrohe team for 2017 Tour de France
Emanuel Buchmann (G)
Marcus Burghardt (G)
Rudiger Selig (G)
Peter Sagan (Svk)
Juraj Sagan (Svk)
Rafal Majka (P)
Maciej Bodnar (P)
Pawel Poljanski (P)
Jay McCarthy (Aus)