Last year it was only in April that the selected teams had been announced, 63 days before the start of the of the Tour de France 2013. This year it was thus 158 days before the start of the Tour de France 2014 that Amaury Sport Organisation officially announced the selection of the 4 wildcards, among the candidates Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cofidis solutions crédits, Colombia, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka and Team NetApp-Endura.
2 French teams:
> Bretagne-Séché Environnement
The team from Brittany showed its deception in 2013 when it learned it wasn't part of the selection. The Cofidis, Sojasun and Europcar teams took away the wildcards that year but this year the French team had less competition in the country of the Tour, with the disappearance of Sojasun and with Europcar's promotion to the UCI ProTeam level.
Emmanuel Hubert, director of the team of 16 riders and since recently also the general manager of the team, commented te news saying: This is great. It's really good for the Bretagne-Séché Environnement team in which I believe a lot. It's really about the people, we have a great group which has its values. And I know the team will be ready for it, with the riders but also the staff, at the Tour de France 2014. Now it's time to work towards good results.
The choice of the team from Brittany can, according to Christian Prudhomme, be explained not only by the chance ASO wants to offer to the French teams but also by the spirit of revenge of the Feillu brothers who came back together in this team early this season after their respective teams ceased to exist (Vacansoleil-DCM for Romain and Sojasun for Brice) and by a promising leader, Eduardo Sepulveda. They have of course also commented the news:
Romain Feillu apparently already expect to be at the start, with his brother, and seems to indicate that this selection brings great comfort to the team in terms of their race calendar: This is great, it gives us a lot of rest. We now want to be there to perform, to show we deserved our invitation. I'm happy I can get back to the nice atmosphere at the Tour de France but I'm also aware of the responsibilities we now have. We must bring the surprising element and the Feillu duo is ready to take up this challenge.
Eduardo Sepulveda commented on Twitter, with a very simple message in which he explains he's happy to know that his team will be at the start of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire on the 5th of July:
Contento de saber que @EquipeBSE logro la invitación para el Tour de France!!
> Cofidis, solutions crédits
For the Cofidis team it was most probably less a surprise to be on the list of wildcards for participation in the Tour de France 2014 since it had this privilege year in year out since 2010, the year in which it dropped its UCI ProTeam status and the team even participated in every Tour de France since 1997, the year after its creation!
It was so much not a surprise that as up to the day of the publication of this article, the team from the north of France hasn't published an article on its official web site and apparently hasn't reacted to this news, except for a rather simple Tweet announcing its selection in the 3 races:
Cofidis - Solutions crédits sélectionnée pour participer à Paris Nice, au Dauphiné et au Tour de France !
> IAM Cycling
The IAM Cycling team was, like Bretagne-Séché Environnement, not one of the wildcards last year. After its first year on the roads of the different cycling races in the world, the Swiss team will thus participate in its first Tour de France in 2014, something which pleased Michel Thétaz of course since he's the founder of IAM (Independent Asset Management), fan of cycling and also the founder of this cycling team.
He explained that he sees his dream come truth: For me, the Tour de France has become an obsession. Today we received confirmation of the validity of our work throughout our first season in the peloton last year. The team is well organized and we have a great coaching and support staff. This means that our invitations from the ASO to the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné Libéré have brought us pure joy. I would like to give my sincere thanks to the organizers for their gesture of confidence.
(...) The main sponsor, IAM will have a unique profile and we will not need to fall back on a co-sponsor to complete our full calendar.
It is more than probable that bringing in Sylvain Chavanel and Jérôme Pineau in the Swiss team has had a positive effect for the selection for the Tour de France 2014. Sylvain Chavanel said on Twitter he's proud to be part of this team which was selected for the Tour but that it doesn't stop there ...
> Team NetApp-Endura
The NetApp-Endura team, born out of the merger between the NetApp and Endura teams last year, insisted on the fact that its invitation allows a German team to participate in the Tour de France for the first time since 2010.
Ralph Denk, the manager of the team spoke, just like Michel Thétaz, about a dream which became truth, after having seen his team participate in the Giro d'Italia in 2012 and in the Vuelta a España last year: A dream comes true. We have worked towards this news since the first day of the team's founding. That our wish has now become reality is overwhelming, and will put the whole team into a euphoric mood. We could not have hoped for better news shortly before our season opening.
The riders of the team of course also showed their happiness after having learned this news, with for example Leopold König who confirmed this has been a long term goal: The news is simply what we've been working for a couple of years all together in the team and I'm extremely proud that we've achieved this goal. Personally it's of course a dream comes true as I've been dreaming about the Tour de France since my childhood.
His team mate Paul Voss (photo) added: I was very happy about the wildcard news. I think we deserved it and that’s what we have to prove at the Tour! For me it would be the first Tour and I will give everything to be at the start. My season is planned towards the Tour and I hope that everything goes the way I imagine, so that my personal dream comes true this summer.
For Paris-Nice 2014, the 72th edition of the race to the sun which will take place from 9 till 16 March 2014, 3 teams wil be added to the 18 UCI ProTeams which were already sure to be at the start:
Cofidis, solutions crédits
... for the Critérium du Dauphiné 2014
For the Critérium du Dauphiné 2014, the 66th edition of this mini Tour de France which will take place in the Alps from 8 till 15 June 2014, the teams have also been announced and the 3 teams which will complete the peloton of 18 UCI ProTeams will be made up of the hard core of the teams selection as announced by ASO:
Cofidis, solutions crédits
completed with another additional team:
Team NetApp-Endura > 6 comments | shown 13712x
Currently 6 comments!
L'arrivée du dauphiné a Roanne après le beaujolais?
| ecureuil2014 | sunday 02 February 2014 at 6:07:48
Le tracé a été rendu public aujourd'hui avec quelques nouveautés comme le col de Beal à Ambert et le retour de la côte de Laffrey.
Tracé sympa a priori.