Garmin name team to navigate Tour de France

Norwegian Thor Hushovd and American Tyler Farrar, pictured in 2010, will spearhead the Garmin-Cervelo team's bid for stage victories on this year's Tour de France, which starts on Saturday

Norwegian Thor Hushovd and American Tyler Farrar will spearhead the Garmin-Cervelo team's bid for stage victories on this year's Tour de France, which starts on Saturday. The American outfit announced their nine-man team on Tuesday, with Lithuanian champion Ramunas Navardauskas, the team’s youngest rider, making his debut along with American Tom Danielson. "We needed a team that could give us options in the overall (standings) but also for stage wins and with this squad, we have that," said team chief Jonathan Vaughters. American Christian Vande Velde, a two-time finisher in the race's top ten, and Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, seventh overall last year, lead the team's bid for a top finishing place. Britain's David Millar and American David Zabriskie will meanwhile prove crucial in the team time trial on stage two, while both will look to excel in the race's 20th and penultimate stage time trial over 42.5 km. Farrar, who has won sprint stages in the Tours of Italy and Spain, will be looking for his maiden victory having come up against unstoppable Briton Mark Cavendish, of HTC-Highroad, in recent editions. As usual, he will be counting on the valuable sprint lead-out help of New Zealander Julian Dean. Hushovd, the world road race champion, is tipped for success in one or several of the opening stages which culminate with a slightly uphill finish. There was no place, however, for Johan Vansummeren despite the Belgian's impressive victory in the gruelling Paris-Roubaix classic earlier this year. "With such a strong team, and so many riders going so well all season, this was our most difficult Tour selection yet," added Vaughters. "When you have 15 or 18 riders capable of riding the Tour, it becomes difficult, and its hard to leave guys like Johan home. "But, I’m confident that we have found the right mix in this group, and I have absolute faith in these riders. It’s going to be an exciting Tour." Garmin-Cervelo Tour de France squad Tom Danielson (USA), Julian Dean (NZL), Tyler Farrar (USA), Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Thor Hushovd (NOR), David Millar (GBR), Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU), Christian Vande Velde (USA), David Zabriskie (USA)

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