Ireland's Dan Martin. INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Dan Martin to co-lead Garmin-Sharp team

The Irishman will partner Canada’s 2012 Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal.

IRELAND’S DAN MARTIN will co-lead Garmin’s Tour de France challenge with Canada’s 2012 Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal when the race gets underway in Ponte-Vecchio, Corsica, on Saturday.

Martin – a nephew of former Tour winner, Stephen Roche — won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic this season and will fancy himself to make an impression in a particularly mountainous route.

He and the 32-year-old Canadian will rely on the experience of American duo Christian Vande Velde (4th in 2008, 8th in 2009) and Tom Danielson (8th in 2011) as well as Britain’s four-time stage winner David Millar.

The team also hand Tour debuts to three riders, 24-year-old American Andrew Talansky, New Zealander Jack Bauer, who gets his chance at the relatively advanced age of 28, and Australian Rohann Dennis, 23 and who led the Criterium Dauphine briefly earlier this month.

“We have a good all-round team which offers us a lot of options,” said team director Jonathan Vaughters in a statement. “Our objective is to light up the race and with an aggressive strategy we will try to get a high placing in the general classification. We have several riders capable of that,” he added referring to Hesjedal, Talansky and Martin.

“We will protect our chief riders and we will see how the race evolves. Our approach is not very conventional but we have succeeded in creating surprises in every Tour de France we have competed in. We hope to do so again this year.”

Team: Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Andrew Talansky, Christian Vande Velde, Tom Danielson (USA), Dan Martin (IRL), David Millar (GBR), Jack Bauer (NZL), Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU), Rohan Dennis (AUS)

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