PARIS, June 25, 2014 (AFP) – German veteran Jens Voigt is set to compete in
his 17th Tour de France after being named in an experienced nine-strong Trek
Factory Racing team for cycling’s greatest race.
The 42-year-old Voigt, a stage winner in 2001 and 2006 and yellow jersey
wearer in 2011 and 2005, has not missed a Tour since making his debut in 1988.
His appearance will draw him level with the record 18 times on the Tour
notched up American George Hincapie (1996-2012) and Australian Stuart O’Grady
(1997-2013), both now retired.
With Trek aiming for a top 10 finish in the general classification and
pocketing a stage win, Voigt will be partnered with Luxembourg brothers Andy
and Frank Schleck, the former a 2010 Tour winner who claimed second place in
2009 and 2011.
But Andy Schleck has been stripped of any responsibility for the general
classification and is now seen as a support rider for older brother Frank and
Spain’s Haimar Zubeldia.
“Andy will ride in support of Frank and Haimar in the climbs. He will not
have a personal focus on the GC,” said Trek general manager Luca Guercilena.
“This edition of the Tour de France is characterised as one for the
mountain goats, even the parcours of the time-trial has lots of climbing.
“Frank and Haimar are two riders with experience in GC; they have shown
what they are worth and they have our trust.
“Climbers who are in good shape can hold a GC. We will support them with
the best possible. With Andy and Matthew (Busche) to help out in the mountain
stages and strong rouleurs like Jens, Markel (Irizar) and Rasty (Gregory
Rast), they are well surrounded.”
Also included in the team is Swiss Fabian Cancellara, with the three-time
Paris-Roubaix champion favoured to push for glory in stage five, with its nine
Trek Factory Racing team
Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Matthew Busche (USA), Markel Irizar (ESP), Gregory
Rast (SUI), Andy Schleck (LUX), Frank Schleck (LUX), Jens Voigt (GER), Danny
van Poppel (NED), Haimar Zubeldia (ESP)