Saxo Bank chief Bjarne Riis remained upbeat as he named his nine-man team for this summer's Tour de France on Friday without suspended former champion Alberto Contador.
Contador was banned for two years after testing positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, and he was subsequently stripped of the title he won that year.
"I'm convinced it's possible to perform with Contador," said Riis as he named their line-up for the Tour which gets underway in Liege, Belgium on June 30.
Argentine Juan Jose Haedo will be their leading hope on the sprints with Dane Chris Anker Soerensen targetting the mountain stages and top climber's jersey.
Australia's Jonathan Cantwell also made the team and will be a possible alternative option for the sprints should Haedo not be in shape.
"Of course this is a very different job waiting for us this year without a designated GC rider," added Riis.
Saxo Bank team for Tour de France
Jonathan Cantwell (AUS), Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), Karsten Kroon (NED), Anders Lund (DEN), Michael Morkov (DEN), Nick Nuyens (BEL), Sergio Paulinho (POR), Chris Anker Soerensen (DEN), Nicki Soerensen (DEN)