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Tour de France 2008: team selection published

Added: thursday 20 March 2008 at 23:15:00
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    Tour de France 2008: team selection publishedWe've been waiting for this since a while now, but ASO first wanted to see the results in Paris-Nice 2008 before announcing the selection of cycling teams which would be inivted for the Tour de France 2008. Now the list is finally known.

    A list without too many surprises: without Astana, with the 17 other UCI ProTour teams and with 3 extra teams: 2 of which have done at least one Tour before (Agritubel and Barloworld) and one new team for the Tour (Slipstream Chipotle).

    Agritubel and Barloworld: usual invitees

    The invitations for Agritubel and Barloworld should not be a surprise to anyone:
    - Agritubel is part of the list of Tour de France teams since 2006 and has won one stage so far (the 10th stage of the Tour de France 2006: Juan Miguel Mercado)
    - Barloworld was the surprise invitee in the Tour de France 2007 and showed it was worth the invitation especially with Juan Mauricio Soler's polka dot jersey and two stage victories (9th stage: Juan Mauricio Soler and 11th stage: Robert Hunter). Or as Claudio Corti told me during the Tour: the team deserved its invitation because of its results

    The surprise invitation for 2008: Slipstream-Chipotle

    The invitation for the Slipstream Chipotle team might be a little bit more of a surprise: even though the team had been invited for Paris-Nice last week already it was not really the team which showed itself the most among the non UCI ProTour teams. A team like Skil-Shimano showed much better results during this Race to the sun, especially with Clément Lhotellerie's polka dot jersey and Hubert Dupond's good results. Only Trent Lowe can be seen as one of the positive surprises of this Paris-Nice 2008.

    The missed invitation: Skil-Shimano

    After they'd received their invitation for Paris-Nice Skil-Shimano first said it didn't want to participate in the Tour and than corrected that by saying it would be possible anyway ... After its magnificent Paris-Nice in which Clément Lhotellerie took the polka dot jersey, the team told the Dutch press it had a 90% chance to be invited for the Tour de France 2008. Finally, the Tour de France organisor chose for the American instead of the Dutch team by selecting Slipstream-Chipotle.

    The reasons for this choice are unknown but it might well be based at the maturity of the team: Skil-Shimano would have had a lot of trouble to put together a team which would be able to finish a 3 weeks stage race like the Tour de France.

    The list of invited cycling teams for the Tour de France 2008

    Below you'll find the full list of cycling teams which have been invited to participate in the Tour de France 2008 which will start from Brest on July 5th (see here for the full list of stages for the Tour de France 2008). The list is ordered by the country in which the teams are officially established:As usual each team will select 9 riders to participate in the Tour de France 2008, which means there will be a total number of 180 riders at the start of the Tour in Brittany.

    Of course the Tour de France organisor added this team selection has been announced assuming that the team will respect the ethics and loyalty rules which are of utmost importance in cycling.

    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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