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Skil-Shimano doesn't want to participate in the Tour de France 2008, or do they?

Added: monday 18 February 2008 at 0:12:50
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    Skil-Shimano doesn't want to participate in the Tour de France 2008, or do they?Last Wednesday, Skil-Shimano received the news about its invitation to Paris-Nice in March as the second Dutch team (in addition to Rabobank) (see here for the complete list of teams which have been invited for Paris-Nice 2008).
    This invitation could be an indication on a possible invitation to participate in the Tour de France 2008, but ... the team doesn't want to be invited ... or in fact they do, but not really?

    Contacted by Sportweek.nl, Rudi Kemna, team manager for the Dutch team, said on Friday he doesn't want to participate in the Tour de France 2008. Kemna said: One day I would like to participate in the Tour. But not in 2008. I would love to in 2009.
    I think we should not skip one of the steps. The sponsors probably don't like what I say because they would love to see us in the Tour. And I understand them. But you shouldn't do the Tour before you're ready to do it. We cannot simply put the Tour in our programme. We're not ready. If we do receive an invitation I think we should really think about whether we want to participate or not

    This interview was the start of a lot of discussions since probably no one will refuse an invitation for the Tour de France ...

    The team's managing director, Iwan Spekenbrink, also the manager of the sports marketing agency Sports Marketing Services told Sportweek.nl later that day that he didn't think it would be a good idea to participate in the Tour de France, but that the team would accept the invitation if it would receive one: A Tour invitation cannot be refused.
    Rudi doesn't say we will refuse such an invitation. He simply says it will be complicated. I agree with him, but I would like to add: with our current young riders and with our current programme. As far as I know ASO will announce the list of invited teams at the end of the month, probably on the 29th of February. If we're on that list, we will have to prepare ourselves rather quickly and change our programme. But today it's way too early for me to talk about us potentially participating

    At the end of this month we'll know more about which teams will be invited for the Tour de France 2008 and if Skil-Shimano will indeed have to think very seriously about how to come up with a team which is ready to ride the Tour!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2008 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


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