Saxo Bank announces Tour team
Fabian Cancellara will look to win the Tour's first yellow jersey for Saxo Bank (AFP/Getty Images)
The Saxo Bank team run by former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis will centre its hopes for victory on next month's race on Schleck brothers Andy and Frank, and powerful Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara.
And Riis believes Saxo Bank, who won the Tour last year with Spaniard Carlos Sastre under their former name of CSC, can dominate from start to finish.
Cancellara, who won the Tour of Switzerland on Sunday, is among the riders who could take the yellow jersey as of the first stage time trial in Monaco on July 4.
Andy Schleck, the winner of the Tour's white jersey - for the best placed rider aged 25 and under - will then spearhead the quality-packed Danish team's bid for the coveted yellow jersey.
The three riders were among the nine-man team announced by Riis on Monday.
"Just like the past couple of years, it has been a very difficult decision because there have been several excellent riders in our consideration for the nine spots for the Tour," said team owner Riis. "... now we have picked nine riders which together form an extremely strong lineup which could help dominating the course from the beginning to the end.
"With Fabian in peak shape it is clear that we have a perfect chance of taking the yellow jersey from the start and there is absolutely no doubt that this is what we are here for. At the same time, we have a homogeneous and powerful team for the team time trial and it should form the foundation for our efforts in the overall standings.
"In Frank and Andy Schleck, we have two super-powerful cards to play and the rest of the guys will be able to give them the right support. We believe in a fantastic Tour de France for Team Saxo Bank."
Seven of the team's nine riders competed at last year's Tour. The two new arrivals are Dane Chris Anker Sorensen and Swede Gustav Larsson, who won Olympic time trial silver, behind Cancellara, in Beijing last year.
Sastre has since moved on to the Cervelo team, as did Volodymyr Gustov.
Andy Schleck (Lux), Frank Schleck (Lux), Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Stuart O'Grady (Aus), Jens Voigt (Ger), Nicki Sorensen (Den), Chris Anker Sorensen (Den), Gustav Larsson (Swe), Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor).