January 02, 2023
All the riders who we know will be in attendance at the Grand Départ in Bilbao
While rumours swirl about each team’s potential Tour de France roster months before the race is due to start, most squads aren’t officially announced until the week leading up to the event. Many teams tend to wait until warm-up races like the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse are wrapped up to finalise their line-ups, as this is a final indication of each rider’s form ahead of the main event a few weeks later.
The Tour is undoubtedly a race synonymous with big mountain passes, but this doesn’t mean all sports directors want to bring a bus full of climbers. GC teams will need bigger riders who can protect the leader on flatter stages where there are risks of crosswinds and keep them safe in hectic bunch finishes. It’s also important to bring those with big engines to do work early on in the stage to control the breakaway before the race hits some of the longer climbs.
There’s also the teams, such as Soudal Quick-Step, who will have made their selection with the sprint stages and green jersey competition in mind. This means they will likely bring a group of strong lead out men who can deliver their sprinter to the line, rather than focussing on riders who will contest the general classification. Teams without a pure sprinter or GC hopeful might opt to bring a squad of all-rounders – those who can search for opportunistic stage wins and have the freedom to go for the breakaway on days where they might have a chance at staying away for victory.
With this being said, there’s a lot to consider when choosing an eight-rider line-up for the Tour de France and it serves as one of the most important jobs for team management in the entire season. So, while we have the confirmed list of teams who will be on the start line at this year’s Tour, we will have to continue guessing which riders will take on the 110th edition for a little longer.
(Image by SWPix.com)
AG2R Citroën Team
Astana QazaQstan Team
UAE Team Emirates
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team