2013 - Third overall for Joaquim Rodriguez.
General classification rider Yuri Trofimov and sprinter Alexander Kristoff will have some support towards their goals, while former Tour podium finisher Rodriguez has been given a 'freelancer' role.
Changes since 2013:
Plenty of changes, with Rodriguez's wingman Daniel Moreno missing out, along with former Russian champion Pavel Brutt, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Alberto Losada and Eduard Vorganov.
Notable replacements include Luca Paolini, who will lead out Kristoff, and all-rounder Simon Špilak, who finished second to Chris Froome in the 2012 and 2013 Tours de Romandie.
Despite his experience in coming third overall two seasons ago, 35-year-old Rodriguez has had an injury-hit season and his unusual freelancer role is about aiming for stage wins in the mountains, rather than the full GC slog. He will still be a useful ally for 27-year-old Russian Trofimov, who has been set a target of a top-10 overall finish. Some people think his Slovene teammate Simon Špilak, a handy climber and time-triallist, might fare better.
Norwegian Kristoff surprised many when he won the Milan-San Remo endurance classic earlier this season and, as a reasonable climber who once beat Peter Sagan in an uphill finish, will be looking to beat the thick-thighed boys in tougher sprint stages.
The full nine:
Vladimir Isaychev (Russia), Alexander Kristoff (Norway), Luca Paolini (Italy), Alexander Porsev (Russia), Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain), Egor Silin (Russia), Gatis Smukulis (Latvia), Simon Špilak (Slovenia) and Yuri/Iurii Trofimov (Russia).