With main rider Alberto Contador still serving a doping suspension and not set to return until the Vuelta a Espana later in the year, Saxo Bank have shifted their priorities.
"It's obviously a completely different task that is waiting for us when we do not have a general classification rider with us,” Riis admitted.
“But I see it both as an exciting challenge and an opportunity to try some things that might not be tactically possible under other circumstances.
Riis’ nine-man team includes sprinter Juan Jose Haedo, as well as Nick Nuyens and Chris Anker Sorensen, who are tipped to be strong on mountain stages.
"We have JJ in the sprints and some strong people to help him. We have Chris, a rider who will have good opportunities to do something big in the mountains and maybe even be a suitor for the polka dot jersey.
“I actually have a really good feeling about the Tour, and I don't think it would be wise to underestimate our team."
Saxo Bank Tour de France squad: Juan José Haedo (Arg), Jonathan Cantwell (Aus), Nick Nuyens (Bel), Chris Anker Sørensen (Den), Nicki Sørensen (Den), Michael Mørkøv (Den), Anders Lund (Den), Karsten Kroon (Ned) and Sergio Paulinho (Por).
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