Tour de France organisers narrow wildcard team list to six squads
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Tour de France organisers narrow wildcard team list to six squads

by Shane Stokes at 1:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Four French teams amongst those pushing for three available places

Tour de FranceTour de France organisers ASO have today announced that the list of teams in contention for three wildcard slots at this year’s race has been reduced to six squads, of which four are French.

The Europcar team of former Maillot Jaune Thomas Voeckler and the promising young climber Pierre Rolland looks likely to gain a place, while Bretagne-Séché, Cofidis and Sojasun also represent home hopes.

The six teams in the running also include the German-registered NetApp-Endura, which made its Grand Tour debut last year in the Giro d’Italia, plus the new Swiss IAM Cycling setup.

The latter includes former Tour stage winner Heinrich Haussler, who is hoping to get back to his 2010 form this year and knows a strong Classics campaign would advance the team’s chances.

It is not yet clear when the final selection will be made.

Nineteen slots have already been allocated to teams; these are the eighteen WorldTour squads in place at the start of the year, as well as the Katusha team. It recently won its Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal against the December decision by the UCI’s Licence Commission to refuse it WorldTour registration, thus pushing the number of teams in the league this year to nineteen.

The six Pro Continental teams in the running have each already been picked for at least two of ASO’s other events.

Of those, Cofidis and Europcar have been selected for four out of the five events and look like strong candidates for a Tour ride. Sojasun and IAM Cycling have made the cut in three out of the five races, while Bretagne-Séché and NetApp Endura have been given the nod twice each.

The fact that this year's Tour is the 100th edition may increase pressure on the selectors to lean towards home teams, although IAM Cycling and NetApp Endura will hope that at least one place goes outside France.

The list of wildcards for those races is as follows:

Paris-Nice: Cofidis, Europcar, Sojasun and IAM Cycling
Paris-Roubaix: Cofidis, Europcar, Sojasun, Bretagne-Séché, IAM Cycling and NetAPP-Endura.
Fl
èche Wallonne: Sojasun, IAM Cycling, Accent Jobs–Wanty, Colombia, Crelan–Euphony and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Cofidis, Europcar, IAM Cycling, Accent Jobs-Wanty, Crelan-Euphony and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
Critérium du Dauphiné: Cofidis, Europcar, Bretagne-Seché and NetApp-Endura.

To be decided: Tour de France – three teams out of Europcar, Cofidis, Bretagne-Séché, Sojasun, IAM Cycling and NetAPP-Endura.

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