Tour de France organizers narrow invite list to 25 teams
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Tour de France organizers narrow invite list to 25 teams

by VeloNation Press at 2:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

The selection of the teams for this year’s Tour de France will be announced in late March, according to the Tour's sporting director Jean-Francois Pescheux, and officials have also confirmed that they have narrowed down the list of teams that are being considered for cycling's top event to twenty-five.

"We have a total of 25 nominations," Pescheux told AFP after a meeting that was held today between the various teams and managers of the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO).

It will be the first time since 2003 that such a high number of teams will be present in the race, increasing the quota by two from the 2009 level of 20 squads.

"There are 16 teams who are certain to be at the start in Rotterdam, unless there is a serious breach of ethics as was the case with Saunier Duval in 2008, which became Fuji Servetto in 2009,” Tour director Christian Prudhomme told the French magazine Masculin last month.

The sixteen teams that are, barring scandals, certain to be there are the following: AG2R-La Mondiale, La Française des Jeux, BBox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Quick Step, Rabobank, Liquigas-Doimo, Lampre-NGC, Astana, Saxo Bank, HTC-Columbia, Caisse d'Epargne, Euskaltel Euskadi, Milram and Footon-Servetto.

No list of the teams that are being considered was given, but some of the key teams who must rely on wildcard selection are RadioShack, Team Sky (Wiggins and Boasson Hagen), Katusha (Kirchen and McEwen), Cervélo Test Team (Sastre, Hushovd, Haussler), Garmin Transitions (Vande Velde and Farrar), BMC (Evans, Ballan and Hincapie) and Vacansoleil (Bozic and Hoogerland).

Organizers have said they will also make the full details of the July 6th stage that will feature cobblestone sections from some of the Spring Classics available in mid-April.

"The idea is to allow those the opportunity who wish to recce the course ahead of the Tour," explained Pescheux, which will help logistically since the teams will already be in the area.

While the race won't be won on the the sometimes treacherous sectors of pavé included in this year's Tour, it could very well be lost.

From 2011 onwards, selection for the Tour de France is expected to be determined by the world ranking of the teams in question. A small number of Wildcard places are also likely to be awarded.

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