No guarantee of Tour de France wildcard for Saxo-Tinkoff if it misses out on WorldTour
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No guarantee of Tour de France wildcard for Saxo-Tinkoff if it misses out on WorldTour

by Ben Atkins at 3:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
“We do not change our distribution of wild cards to give special consideration to Alberto Contador,” says ASO spokesman

alberto contadorWith Team Saxo-Tinkoff still unsure of taking its place in the 2013 WorldTour, there remains the possibility that Alberto Contador could miss out on next year’s Tour de France. The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the first eight teams to have been granted registration for 2013, and is set to release the remaining ten in the coming days; current rumours suggest that Saxo-Tinkoff is up against Argos-Shimano for what is the last remaining spot.

Contador spoke to French TV station France 2 on Sunday, where he stated that, should the team not know well in advance that it has a place at the Tour de France, he could well drop the race from his programme. This would indicate that, if Saxo-Tinkoff misses out on WorldTour status, he would like Saxo-Tinkoff’s wildcard invitation before the usual early April date.

Tour de France organiser ASO was contacted by Sporten.dk, but refused to commit to agreeing to treat the Danish team any differently.

“We can not say too much right now, because it is up to the UCI,” said ASO spokesman Fabrice Tiano. “If Alberto Contador's team gets a license it will get an automatic invitation, but we do not change our distribution of wild cards to give special consideration to Alberto Contador.”

In all likelihood, even if Saxo-Tinkoff or Argos-Shimano misses out on WorldTour registration next season it would be offered one of what would probably be four wildcard slots at the Tour. ASO has historically favoured French teams, with Cofidis, Europcar and Saur-Sojasun taking three of the places in the 2012 edition, with Argos-Shimano taking the other.

ASO will likely lean towards the French again in 2013, but the prospect of leaving two-time winner Contador at home in July might be too much for the race organiser to think about.

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