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Tour de France 2012 : the 22 teams finally announced

Added: friday 06 April 2012 at 23:30:00
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    Tour de France 2012 : the 22 teams finally announcedWe're at only 85 days from the start of the Tour de France 2012 and it was thus quite surprising not to know which teams were invited at this time. Indeed, how can teams which might be invited allow their riders to train and prepare themselves correctly for the Tour as long as they don't know whether they're invited? That problem's now gone since the 4 teams which complete the list of 18 UCI ProTeams which are invited by default in any UCI WorldTour race have finally been announced.

    They are a Dutch team and 3 French teams, all Continental Pro.

    The 4 invited teams

    Let's go straight to the point and have a look at the 4 teams which have been awarded a wildcard for the 99th edition of the Tour de France.

    First of all the Dutch team Team Argos-Shimano, since the start of the season known as Project 1t4i but recently renamed, with Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France and more widely director of cycling at Amaury Sport Organisation, attending the official announcement. In Prudhomme's answers, together with Javier Guillén (the director of the Vuelta a España) interviewed during the presentation of the new sponsor of the team, it already seemed quite clear that the invitation for the former Skil-Shimano team had been confirmed already:

    The 3 other teams which got a wildcard are all French. Among the 4 French Continental Pro teams, only Bretagne-Schuller will not participate in the Grande Boucle in 2012. Indeed, the invited teams are Cofidis, le crédit en ligne, Saur-Sojasun and Team Europcar.

    The 18 UCI ProTeams

    As a UCI WorldTour race, the Tour de France will automatically have the 18 UCI ProTeams participating, at the start in Liège on Saturday 30 June: Astana, AG2R La Mondiale, BMC Racing Team, Euskaltel-Euskadi, FDJ BigMat, Garmin-Barracuda, GreenEDGE Cycling Team, Katusha Team, Lampre-ISD, Liquigas-Cannondale, Lotto-Belisol, Movistar Team, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Rabobank, Radioshack-Nissan, Team Saxo Bank, Team Sky and Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team.

    The comments from the riders of Team Argos-Shimano

    The Argos-Shimano team has already published a video with some short comments from some of the riders of the team:
    Additionally, Iwan Spekenbrink, General manager of the team showed his happiness: It's a real recognition for all the work done by the riders and the staff, and also for the faith our partners and sponsors put in our ambitious cyclign project.

    Sissy van Alebeek, co-manager of the team completed: We have a strong team and think we can play a role for a stage win in a sprint stage or with a breakaway which doesn't get caught before the finish line.

    The comments from Jean-René Bernaudeau, Team Europcar

    Team Europcar published a brief reaction from Jean-René Bernaudeau, the manager of the team from the Vendée area: Thomas (Voeckler) has been the idol of the public last year and the white jersey for Pierre had a big impact on the French public as well. Honestly, it's not really a surprise for us. We did a fabulous Tour de France 2011, we're preparing even better this year and we never really thought of the possibility of not being selected. Indeed the Tour 2012 can't do without Thomas and Pierre

    The comments from Stéphane Heulot, manager of the Saur-Sojasun team

    The last team to comment among the 4 invited teams was Saur-Sojasun with some quotes from Stéphane Heulot, former rider and current manager for the team from Brittany who declared being very happy with this announcement but most of all concentrated onthe work which needs to be done to have our shining circle in July.

    This invitation really shows the progress which has been made by the team since its creation three years ago. This will be our second grand tour. This pays for an intelligent structure which contains riders who allowed us to get ASO's confidence. Last year we might have been a bit soft, but despite that we did reach our goal. There were some high expectations on us but we didn't do anything without missing a step. Our strategic approach was around our leader, Jérôme Coppel, who wanted to get a top 15 classification, and we managed to do so. We also showed that we have some promising riders like Anthony Delaplace, who did an exceptionally good Tour de France at only 21 years old.

    And for the losing team, Bretagne-Schuller ?

    Joël Blévin, the manager of the second Continental Pro team from Brittany, Bretagne-Schuller, indicated at the time that he got to know that his was not supposed to participate in Paris-Nice 2012, in an interview with Le Télégramme that if his team was not invited for the Tour de France 2012, he would resign: ASO encouraged us to get on a higher level and to develop Breizh Vélo, the company structure behind the team. (...) If we were not to be invited, that means that people don't recognise our work.

    I cannot imagine we won't be in the Tour... But we wouldn't be at the start in Liège, that would be a personal failure for me and in that case I will resign

    A choice based on results according to Christian Prudhomme

    Christian Prudhomme declared today at the Télégramme having chosen based on sport values: Bretagne-Schuller must contine to grow if it wants even more.
    We only have four invitations. Most logically they were awarded to Europcar, with Voeckler and Rolland ; to Saur-Sojasaun, with Coppel as its leader, 14th last year, and which has a team which is growing ; to Cofidis, which has Taaramae, Moncoutié and Dumoulin, already stage winner before ; to Argos, with its two sprinters Degenkolb and, most importantly, Kittel, and a French espoir as well, Geniez. I don't want to comment on Bretagne-Schuller, which is not all being put aside: we invited them in the Critérium International just like in Paris-Roubaix, next Sunday

    Marc Madiot, president of the Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme: holy shit, we're in France!

    Marc Madiot, manager of the FDJ BigMat team but also president of the Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme (LNC)'s comments are more agressive: I'm really disappointed to see a French team having to stay at home. Ad the president of the Ligue, I can only regret it, especially because we should have received an invitation for Bretagne-Schuller and its excellent result. And moreover, holy shit, we're in France! In the past, ASO didn't hesitate to give higher priority to French teams. If you don't invite Bretagne-Schuller in Paris-Nice, not in the Tour, maybe not even in the Dauphiné, that's bringing the team to death.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2012 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati


Currently 1 comments!
  1. ola viva o tour de france 2012.

    | EUSTAQUIO SILVA | tuesday 10 April 2012 at 18:36:30

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