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Tour de France

Tour de France: EF Education balances youth and experience with Powless and Urán

Team sends attack-minded squad to the Tour to hunt stage wins and a possible top-10 on GC.

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EF-Education EasyPost announced its Tour de France roster with Rigoberto Urán and Neilson Powless set for pivotal roles as the team hunts stage wins and a possible route to the top-10 on GC.

Urán, a former runner-up, and constant top-10 contender, has had a less than ideal start to the year with crashes and then a bout of COVID-19 taking him out of the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. He will still lead the line for the American team and brings a huge amount of experience.

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Powless, who generated the best stage race GC result of his career with fourth overall at Suisse, is an outside for the top-10 in his third Tour de France but the American might also find himself chasing stage wins with an attack minded team heading to the race.

Ruben Guerreiro, Alberto Bettiol, and Magnus Cort-Nielsen are strong candidates for intermediate and medium mountain stages, while Jonas Rutsch, Stefan Bissegger, and Owain Doull make up the rest of the team. Bissegger is a possible outsider for the opening day time trial in Copenhagen.

There is no spot for Esteban Chaves with the Colombian set to feature at the Vuelta a Espana later in the year.

“The best riders are here. The teams come prepared with everything, the new material, the new bikes. Everybody is focused on the Tour de France,” Uran said in a press release.

“You see the new developments. All the world is watching. The level is super high. Every stage is hard. The riders, the masseurs, the mechanics — everyone is focused and nervous for 21 days. Every second is important. It is nice,” he said.

“It is very different, starting in Denmark and not in France is something different, but especially here it is nice because there are many fans in Denmark. We take it day by day. It is one month. You need to stay first lucky and then healthy. You make a strategy, but must take it day by day. The most important thing is to sleep well,’ said the Colombian.

Cort won a stage in the Tour de France into Carcassonne back in 2018, and the race visits the fortified French city once more this year. The Dane is looking forward to the start of the race in his home country but his best chances of winning a second career stage are likely to come later in the race.

“To win stages at the Tour is on a different level to anything else you can do in cycling. It means a lot just to be selected and going, especially this year when the Tour is starting in Denmark,” said Cort.

“It is probably the only race where you really count how many times you have been there and have finished. It’s not my first time going, but as a small kid, like most other Danes, I just followed the Tour on the TV during the summer holidays.

“I didn’t know anything about cycling, but watched the Tour every summer. It is pretty crazy to think back to that eight-year-old, myself, sitting there looking at all the bike riders, and now I am actually the one inside the television, riding the Tour de France in my home country.”