Australian Cadel Evans has been given scope for a more promising tilt at the Tour de France yellow jersey, with a reinforced Silence-Lotto team for the July 4-26 event.
Silence-Lotto on Friday named the two-time runner-up as team leader, with his compatriot Matthew Lloyd joining Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck and Dutchman Thomas Dekker on duties of helping Evans in the mountain stages.
Germany's Sebastian Lang, who has recovered from a crash at the Dauphine Libere stage race last week, is also included.
Former Australian champion Lloyd, a climber who along with Van den Broeck provided valuable support to Evans in the Dauphine, where Evans again finished runner-up, will make his debut on the Tour de France.
Evans has finished runner-up on the Tour de France the past two years, to Alberto Contador in 2007 and his Spanish compatriot Carlos Sastre in 2008.
Silence-Lotto's Tour roster:
Cadel Evans (AUS), Thomas Dekker (NED), Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL), Johan Vansummeren (BEL), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Staf Scheirlinckx (BEL), Mickael Delage (FRA), Matthew Lloyd (AUS), and Sebastian Lang (GER). Replacements: Roy Sentjens (BEL) and Charles Wegelius (GBR).
© 2009 AFP & BikeRadar