Lance Armstrong will have some familiar faces as he rides into the second season of comeback campaign.
Team boss Johan Bruyneel revealed the final, 26-rider roster that will debut in Radio Shack colors next season as part of the pair’s new top-level pro team that’s taking aim at the biggest races of the year.
Joining Armstrong will be more than a half-dozen riders who rode together in an Astana jersey through the turbulent 2009 season, including Levi Leipheimer, Chris Horner, Jani Brajkovic, José Luís Rubiera, Yaroslav Popovych, Haimar Zubeldia and Andreas Kloeden.
New names crossing over to the start-up Radio Shack team include classics riders Geert Steegmans and Sebastien Rosseler and familiar faces such as Jason McCartney and Fumiyuki Beppu.
Overall, Bruyneel says the team should be highly competitive throughout the year.
“It is a well-balanced team. We have experienced riders, with some of them I worked already many in my former teams, but we also have young talents who can develop in the perfect environment,” Bruyneel said in a team release Monday. “I am happy that our sponsors want to invest in the future of cycling.”
With Armstrong and a powerful team around him, it’s natural that the team’s first goal will be Tour de France.
Armstrong rode to an impressive third in his comeback Tour after three years away from the elite level of the sport.
Bruyneel promised that the team will not be a one-trick pony, adding that it expects to be competitive across the season, from on-day races to week-long events where its deep squad can rack up strong results ahead of the Tour and the other grand tours.
“Our main goal will be the Tour de France and other stage races, but I am confident that, with these riders, we can perform very well in the one-day races as well,” Bruyneel said. “I look forward to the new season with Team RadioShack and our first training camp.”
The team will assemble for its first training camp in the second week of December in Arizona.
Team RadioShack for 2010
Riders: Lance Armstrong (USA), Fumiyuki Beppu (JAP), Sam Bewley (NZL), Jani Brajkovic (SLO), Matthew Busche (USA), Ben Hermans (BEL), Chris Horner (USA), Daryl Impey (SAF), Markel Irizar (SPA), Andreas Klöden (GER), Levi Leipheimer (USA), Geoffroy Lequatre (FRA), Fuyu Li (CHI), Tiago Machado (POR), Jason McCartney (USA), Dmitriy Muravyev (KAZ), Sérgio Paulinho (POR), Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Gregory Rast (SUI), Sébastien Rosseler (BEL), Ivan Rovny (RUS), José Luis Rubiera (SPA), Bjorn Selander (USA), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Tomas Vaitkus (LIT) & Haimar Zubeldia (SPA)
Sports Manager: Johan Bruyneel (BEL)
Sports Directors: Dirk Demol (BEL), Alain Gallopin (FRA), Viatcheslav Ekimov (RUS) & José Azevedo (POR)