The number of teams to have confirmed their nine-man line-ups for the Tour de France has risen to nine after two more revealed who will be on the start line in Leeds on Saturday, July 5.
The squads named by Russian team Katusha and Germany’s Team NetApp-Endura may not be widely known outside of cycling circles, although Katusha’s Joaqium Rodriguez has a proven pedigree in the ‘Grand Tours’.
The 35-year-old Spaniard was third in last year’s Tour de France, was a place higher on the podium the year before in the Giro d’Italia and has also finished third in the Vuelta a Espana in both 2010 and 2012. He also narrowly missed out on becoming World Road Race champion last year when pipped to the line by Portugal’s Rui Costa.
As a climber though, cycling fans in west Essex and East London should not necessarily expect to see Rodriguez featuring too prominently on the Cambridge to London stage on Monday, July 7.
Katusha: Vladimir Isaychev (Russia); Alexander Kristoff (Norway); Luca Paolini (Italy); Alexander Porsev (Russia); Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain); Egor Sillin (Russia); Gatis Smukulis (Latvia); Simon Spilak (Slovenia); Yuri Trofimov (Russia).
Team NetApp-Endura: Jan Barta (Czech Republic); David de la Cruz (Spain); Zak Dempster (Australia); Bartosz Huzarski (Poland); Leopold Koenig (Czech Republic); Tiago Machado (Portugal); Jose Mendes (Portugal); Andreas Schillinger (Germany); Paul Voss (Germany).