Cycling-Contador surrounded by Spanish guard on the Tour

Reuters

Wed, 22 Jun 10:19:00 2011

Triple champion Alberto Contador will be surrounded by his traditional Spanish guard when he starts the Tour de France next month.

Contador, who won the Tour in 2007, 2009 and 2010, will be helped by climbers Jesus Hernandez and Dani Navarro, as well as close friend Benjamin Noval as he leads the Saxo Bank-Sungard team on the three week-race starting on July 2.

Contador failed a dope test in last year's Tour but he was cleared by the Spanish federation and is allowed to race at least until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rule on an appeal by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in August.

"We've obviously tried to pick the team that fits best to our overall strategy," team manager Bjarne Riis said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is no secret that we are in the race to win it, so our job has been to identify the rider group that will be able to give Alberto the best possible support through the three weeks.

"We have come up with a team that can both protect and be aggressive and defend, and we are strong both on the flat roads and in the mountains. I think it's an exceptionally strong team."

Danes Brian Vandborg, Chris Anker Sorensen and Nicki Sorensen, Australian Richie Porte and Italian Matteo Tosatto complete the line-up.

 

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account