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Cycling: Boasson Hagen set for tenth Tour de France with NTT Pro Cycling

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 27.5-km Stage 13 Individual Time Trial from Pau to Pau - July 19, 2019 - Rider Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway in action. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - NTT Pro Cycling have named their eight riders to take part in the 2020 Tour de France, including debutants Max Walscheid of Germany and South African national champion Ryan Gibbons.

Experienced Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen, 33, has been selected to ride his 10th Tour, hoping to add to his three previous stage wins.

Other riders include Italians Giacomo Nizzolo and Domenico Pozzovivo, Dane Michael Valgren, Austrian Michael Gogl and the Czech Republic’s Roman Kreuziger.

“If you look at this team, with nine flat and three hilly stages, we believe there are 12 chances to win among the 21 stages,” team principle Doug Ryder said when announcing the line-up on Tuesday.

“We have got four chances in the first four stages, and the opportunity to wear the yellow jersey after stage one like we did in 2016.”

Pozzovivo returns after a training crash last year that saw him sustain fractures to his right leg, left arm, collarbone and ribs, and according to Ryder had “hundreds of grams” of metal removed from his body.

“He gives us a chance to do something special in the third week,” Ryder said.

NTT Pro Cycling was named MTN-Qhubeka when the debuted on the tour in 2015, becoming the first African team to ride cycling’s biggest event.

The 107th edition of the Tour starts in Nice on Aug. 29 and is set to finish in Paris on Sept. 20, after being postponed from its late June start due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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