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Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen dramatically miss out on selection for Tour de France


Ryan Mullen and Sam Bennett

Ryan Mullen and Sam Bennett

Ryan Mullen and Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen have both dramatically missed out on selection for this year’s Tour de France.

Their German based Bora-Hansgrohe squad announced their Tour team via social media, with fans having to listen to the team podcast to find out who was in the squad.

With a strong accent on German and Austrian riders, there was no room for the Irish duo this time around as the team look to focus on overall victory rather than stage wins.

The team includes newly crowned German champion Nils Pollitt and compatriots Max Schachmann and Lenny Kemna and three Austrians, Marco Haller, Patrick Konrad and recent Austrian road race champion Felix Grobshartner.

With just two places left on the squad, the final spots are filled by Dutchman Danny van Poppel and team leader Russian Alexandre Vlasov - winner of the Tours of Romandie and Valencia already this year.

“It’s never an easy decision,” said team directeur sportif Rolf Aldag. “The strength of the roster is so strong that we could have easily picked 10 or 12 guys. These guys representing Bora Hansgrohe, I think they deserve it because of their shape and what they already proved this year. We have done really good in stage races in general not only at the Giro but we also won Tour of Valencia, we won Tour of Catalonia, and I think this a hint to take the team in this direction, do what do we need to become a GC team.”

With a focus on winning the Tour outright, there is disappointment for Bennett and Mullen who would have been targeting at least a stage win on the flatter stages of this Tour, with van Poppel the only non-climber to make selection.

Unless something unlikely happened between now and Friday’s start in Copenhagen, there will be now no Irish rider at this year’s Tour de France.

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