Christina Watches ‘highly surprised’ not to be selected for Tour of Denmark
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Christina Watches ‘highly surprised’ not to be selected for Tour of Denmark

by Shane Stokes at 6:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team says it will weigh up its future after missing out on wildcard slot

Christina WatchesUsing the points clocked up this year to make an argument that it has been unfairly excluded from the Tour of Denmark, the Christina Watches team has protested its non-selection and said that it will consider its future path shortly.

The team, which was set up around the now-retired Michael Rasmussen (pictured) when he was unable to get a WorldTour contract, had been pushing hard for inclusion in its home tour. It said beforehand that if it was not selected that it would consider stopping at the end of the year; when the wildcards were announced, it was indeed left off the list of invited teams.

Instead, fellow Continental squads Team Cult Energy, Team Concordia Forsikring-Riwal, Blue Water Cycling and Team Tre-For got the nod.

Cycling Denmark confirmed the news today, with Jesper Worre speaking about the selection.

“It has been a great spring for Danish cycling, and the four Danish teams we have taken have shown that they have the level to participate in the Tour of Denmark,” he said.

Worre explained that the selection process was based on performances in the Post Cup races, in Danish UCI events and in the various national championships. “There has been a clear picture that these four teams are the strongest of the Danish continental teams.”

The announcement does not mention Christina Watches, and this will likely further that team’s frustration at not making the cut. In a brief response released today, it listed the various teams’ positions and points in the CQ Ranking table, a calculation of teams and riders in the sport.

Christina Watches is ranked 39th with 1099 points; Team Cult Energy is 71st with 376 points, while Blue Water Cycling is 79th on 302. Concordia Forsikring Riwal is 98th on 218 and Team Tre-For is 135th with 90 points.

However Worre emphasised that another element was also considered. “One of the reasons that we take Danish Continental teams in the Tour of Denmark is to give Danish cycling talent the chance to ride international race at a very high level, so this is obviously also a factor that plays into the selection process.”

Team Cult Energy, Blue Water Cycling and Team Tre-For are composed entirely of Danish riders, while nine of the fourteen riders from Team Concordia Forsikring-Riwal are from that country.

In contrast, Christina Watches is a more international squad, with ten of its fifteen riders being foreign. The controversial German rider Stefan Schumacher is responsible for the bulk of the team’s 1099 points, having 583 to his credit. Danish rider Martin Pedersen is the next most successful with 171.

The team says it is in the dark about the reasons why it wasn’t selected. “We are highly surprised to have received the message that we are not selected for the Tour of Denmark,” it said. “As Denmark's highest ranking Continentale cycling team, it is not easy to understand.”

However, having said prior to the announcement that it might stop if it was not selected, it said it will take time to weigh up its future.

“In respect for the bike team's 22 employees, the sponsors will not jump to conclusions despite today's big disappointment. We will thus in the near future get together and discuss our bicycle project's future.”

The squad will line out in the Polish Course Cycliste de Solidarnosc et des Champions Olympiques. Schumacher, Angelo Furlan, Daniele Aldegheri, Jordan Kerby, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay and Francisco Jose Pacheco Torres are the selection.

The Tour of Denmark will take place between July 31st and August 4th.


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