Gilbert and Casar lead Française des Jeux
French outfit Française des Jeux on Sunday announced that Philippe Gilbert and Sandy Casar would lead its team, which includes three Tour novices, at this weekend's Tour de France.
"The choice was not easy because three-quarters of the guys were on the same level," team boss Marc Madiot told AFP.
Three newcomers, Arnaud Gerard, Yoann Le Boulanger and Jeremy Roy, will make their debuts when the Tour kicks off on Saturday in Brest, northwestern France.
Belgian Gilbert won the Het Volk tour in Belgium earlier this year, while Casar won the 18th stage at last year's Tour.
The French team will also feature sprinter Sébastien Chavanel and climber Remy Di Gregorio, but will be without Mickaël Delage.
Sandy Casar (Fra), Sébastien Chavanel (Fra), Remy Di Gregorio (Fra), Arnaud Gerard (Fra), Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Lilian Jégou (Fra), Yoann Le Boulanger (Fra), Jeremy Roy (Fra), Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra).
Cofidis goes for newcomers
French outfit Cofidis on Saturday announced that Sylvain Chavanel would lead its team, which includes four Tour novices, at next month's Tour de France. Cofidis has placed its faith in the four Tour new boys - including last-minute call-up Hervé Duclos-Lassalle - in a team made up of seven Frenchmen and two foreigners.
"It is a young team with four riders who will be discovering the Tour de France for the first time," said team manager Eric Boyer. "Some will say this is too much but I think they are ready and that they will handle the fact that the Tour has another dimension than other races. They will not be perturbed by that.
"It is a team formed to win stages and has no ambition in winning the overall race."
Frenchman Chavanel, 28, has won six times this season, including the fifth stage of the Tour of Catalonia last month.
Sylvain Chavanel (Fra), Stéphane Augé (Fra), Florent Brard (Fra), Hervé Duclos-Lassalle (Fra), Samuel Dumoulin (Fra), Leonardo Duque (Col), David Moncoutie (Fra), Amael Moinard (Fra), Maxime Monfort (Bel)
Bouygues Telecom| with Voeckler and Trofimov
Russia's Yuri Trofimov, who won a stage of the Dauphiné Libéré earlier this month, has been named in the Bouygues Telecom team to contest the Tour de France which starts on Saturday. He comes in for Anthony Geslin in what is the only change in the lineup from last year's tour
Stef Clement (Ned), Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra), Xavier Florencio (Esp), Laurent Lefèvre (Fra), Jérôme Pineau (Fra), Matthieu Sprick (Fra), Yuri Trofimov (Rus), Johann Tschopp (Swi), Thomas Voeckler (Fra).
Dessel leads Ag2r
Frenchman Hubert Dupont and Christophe Riblon have taken the final two berths in the Ag2r team to contest the Tour de France. The team will be headed by Cyril Dessel, who finished seventh in the 2006 tour.
Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa), Cyril Dessel (Fra), Hubert Dupont (Fra), Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Martin Elmiger (Swi), John Gadret (Fra), Stéphane Goubert (Fra), Christophe Riblon (Fra), Tadej Valjavec (Slo)
French champ Vogondy to ride for Agritubel
Newly-crowned French cycling champion Nicolas Vogondy will ride for Agritubel at next weekend's Tour de France, alongside last-minute inclusions Freddy Bichot and David Le Lay.
"It is a homogenous team with guys who can help Christophe (Moreau) in the mountains, sprinters, and those who can contest the breakaways and stage victories," the French team boss Denis Leproux told AFP.
French climber Le Lay, the only Tour newcomer in the Agritubel line-up, joined the team during the season.
Freddy Bichot (Fra), Jimmy Casper (Fra), Romain Feillu (Fra), Eduardo Gonzalo (Spa), Nicolas Jalabert (Fra), David Le Lay (Fra), Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra), Christophe Moreau (Fra), Nicolas Vogondy (Fra)
© AFP 2008