Uno-X Pro Cycling will make its Tour de France debut on 1 July 2023. The team’s CEO Jens Haugland has confirmed the selection of eight riders which features veteran sprinter Alexander Kristoff plus five younger Norwegians and two Danes…
“For Uno-X, it would have been disappointing if there wasn’t competition for the team spots,” writes Jens Haugland, the team’s CEO in his announcement of the eight-rider selection for the 110th Tour de France that has been named overnight.
“Some will be disappointed, some may be a little surprised to be seen, and some will be happy. We wanted to avoid an element of ‘guarantees’ regarding who would go to the Tour de France, while also knowing that the quality of development work increases if some of the riders have security and predictability.”
The quest for the Norwegian team’s TDF debut is “stage victories” and there is plenty of talent on the roster even if the names on the list below aren’t quite as familiar as others in the pro peloton.
With 10 days to go before the Grand Départ in Bilbao, Uno-X acknowledges that plenty of things can still happen, and changes may be required so a reserve list of three riders is included on the team’s selection announcement.
The first team to name its ideal starting line-up for #TDF2023 has nominated the following riders for the race (listed below in alphabetical order):
- Jonas Abrahamsen (NOR) 27
- Anthon Charmig (DEN) 25
- Jonas Gregaard (DEN) 26
- Tobias Johannessen (NOR) 23
- Alexander Kristoff (NOR) 35
- Rasmus Tiller (NOR) 26
- Torstein Træen (NOR) 27
- Søren Wærenskjold (NOR) 23
The three on the reserves list are:
- Anders Johannessen (NOR) 23
- Erik Resell (NOR) 26
- Martin Urianstad Bugge (NOR) 24
Scandinavian cycling is flourishing with the images of last year’s Grand Départ in Copenhagen reminding us all of the huge reception bike racing can receive. One year on, with a Danish rider as the defending champion – and a favourite for the title in 2023 – there will be guaranteed media interest in northern Europe.
The men’s Uno-X team is composed entirely of riders from Denmark and Norway, with the eight-man TDF selection including two Danish riders and six Norwegians.
The line-up includes the under-23 TT world champion, Søren Wærenskjold (also the bronze medallist in the road race in Wollongong last September) as well as the 2022 Norwegian national champion Rasmus Tiller.
Alexander Kristoff is one of five Norwegian riders to have won a Tour de France stage; at 35 he remains a force in the peloton and Haugland believes he has a strong chance to win again in 2023.
Kristoff’s most recent TDF stage victory was on day one of the delayed race of 2020 when he was part of the UAE Team Emirates line-up, which included the eventual champion Tadej Pogacar.
In 2023, Kristoff continues to collect impressive results even if he is in the twilight of his career. This will be the 35-year-old’s 10th TDF start in his 19th season in the pro ranks.
There will be opportunities for the seven others and, going on past performances, one of the stand-out riders in the selection is 23-year-old Tobias Johannessen. The winner of the Tour de l’Avenir in 2021 is a star of the future even if he is yet to score a breakthrough result in the pro ranks.
When Johannessen claimed the GC title in the ‘Race of the Future’ two years ago he relegated Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Filippo Zana (Jayco-AlUla) to the minor places on the podium. Tobias, one of the Johannessen twins from Uno-X, also won two successive stages of the 2021 Tour de l’Avenir, including the short but challenging showdown that finished on the Grand Colombier climb.
New colours for Le Tour
The tagline for Uno-X Pro Cycling is #Development and Haugland believes the group of riders selected for the team’s anticipated Tour debut will be able to challenge for results. It is one of four non-WorldTour teams in the race this year and the first Norwegian-registered team to contest the TDF.
Early in June the team explained that it would be changing the design of the jersey, adding more red (and some additional sponsor logos) for what promises to be a big step in the progression of a team that has been steadily developing since inception in 2016.
“Uno-X will chase stage victories,” writes Haugland about the objectives this July.
“The team is primarily divided into two groups. We have a ‘Classics group’ that will ensure good opportunities for Alex [Kristoff] on pure sprint days, while also having strong breakaway riders in this group.
“The same goes for the mountains, especially with Torstein and Tobias.
“Gregaard and Charmig also bring an X-factor that can pay off on breakaway stages.”
RIDE Media publishes the Official Tour de France Guide (Australian edition), in newsagents now.