PARIS: Romain Bardet will lead a revamped Team DSM made up largely of newcomers in this year’s Tour de France, the team announced on Thursday.

Australian Ben O’Connor will lead the AG2R Citroen team along with Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels, with former yellow jersey wearer Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium overlooked.

Bardet is one of DSM’s most experienced riders along with German sprinter John Degenkolb, with both returning to the race, which starts in Denmark on July 1, after missing last year’s edition.

Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff is participating in a second Tour de France, but the other riders, including Italian sprinter Alberto Dainese, a stage winner in the last Giro d’Italia, will be making their debuts.

The team has been overhauled from last year’s Tour, with only Eekhoff still present.

It will be the ninth Tour de France for Bardet, winner of three stages in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The 31-year-old’s last race was the Giro d’Italia which he pulled out of in the 13th stage on May 20.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2022

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