ASO has announced the teams invited to the 2010 Tour de France today, with wild cards going to:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ BMC Racing
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ CervÃƒÂ©lo Test Team
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Team Radio Shack
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Team Sky
This assures the big-name appeal of the 2010 peloton: Lance Armstrong, Bradley Wiggins,Ã‚Â world championÃ‚Â Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Thor Hushovd and Christian Vande Velde will all be vying for position, along with a host of other names capable of challenging for jerseys or a top 10 GC finish.
No big surprise, maybe. Team Sky’s results and line-up have more than justified its inclusion; arguably the Tour could not afford to ignore any of these teams, except (perhaps) Katusha. But the decision will disappoint Skil-Shimano, who returned to the race after an absence last year, and Vacansoleil in particular, the Dutch team that put on such a strong show in the early season, winning at the Tour of Qatar and the KBK.
It appears that Lampre – Farnese has sorted out its licence woes, and stays among the 16 Pro Tour teams automatically included under a 2008 agreement with the UCI.
These are:Ã‚Â AG2R La Mondiale,Ã‚Â Astana,Ã‚Â BBoxÃ‚Â Bouygues Telecom, Caisse dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Epargne,Ã‚Â Cofidis, le CrÃƒÂ©dit en ligne,Ã‚Â Euskaltel Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Euskadi,Ã‚Â Footon Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Servetto,Ã‚Â FranÃƒÂ§aise des Jeux,Ã‚Â Liquigas – Doimo,Ã‚Â Omega PharmaÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Lotto,Ã‚Â Quick Step,Ã‚Â Rabobank, Team HTC-Columbia,Ã‚Â Team Milram andÃ‚Â Team Saxo Bank.
Bring it on!