This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Garmin-Barracuda named its nine men for the Tour de France today, with Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal tipped as the team's general classification contender and Tom Danielson and Christian Vande Velde as climbing support.
Choosing a squad with an average age of 32 and not a single rider qualified for the best young rider classification, the team has favored experience over youthful talent in this year's line-up.
Dan Martin is the only first time Tour participant in the team, which also features time trial specialists David Millar and Dave Zabriskie, sprinter Tyler Farrar and lead-out man Robbie Hunter along with 2010 Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren.
"We have put together a well-balanced team with an emphasis on support for our leader, Ryder. We have Christian and Tom, both excellent climbers who each have had great GC rides in the Tour and have shown their strength in recent racing. Dan Martin, making his Tour debut, rounds out the climbers of the team," said main director Allan Peiper.
"The climbers will have the support of TT specialists David Millar and David Zabriskie along with Johan Vansummeren, who will also be able to help out sprinters Farrar and Hunter in the quest for stage wins."
Notably absent from the Tour roster is Australian Heinrich Haussler, who has struggled this year and was fighting to earn results toward the Tour and the Olympic Games. He had to drop out of the Tour de Suisse due to severe saddle sores.
Also missing are the team's young American Andrew Talansky, who came second in the Tour de Romandie, and Alex Rasmussen, whose CAS decision on his whereabouts violations is due on July 6, during the first week of the Tour.
Garmin-Barracuda for the 2012 Tour de France:
Tom Danielson, Tyler Farrar, Ryder Hesjedal, Robbie Hunter, Dan Martin, David Millar, Christian Vande Velde, Johan Vansummeren, David Zabriskie