The team selections for the Tour de France competition in July has brought ecstatic tweets and PR messages from three of the four wild card teams that were selected.
Those are the teams that are chosen at “random” outside of the main pro teams. Among them was Bretagne – Séché Environnement (Fra), Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra), IAM Cycling (Sui), and Team NetApp – Endura (Ger).
Featuring a photo
of Team NetAPP-Endura’s Leo Konig, with is hands in the air as he won stage 8 at the Vuelta d’Espana last year, Fuji’s press officer Stephanie Genuardi wrote, “Fuji Bikes will line up at the start of one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and Team NetApp-Endura will get their chance at the most coveted jersey in all of cycling, as the ASO officially extended the Fuji-sponsored German pro-continental squad a wildcard invitation to the 2014 Tour de France.”
“That our wish has now become reality is overwhelming and has put the whole team into a euphoric mood. We could not have hoped for better news shortly before our season opening,” said NetApp-Endura Manager Ralph Denk. The team was established in 2010.
The 101st edition of the Tour de France will run from July 5 through 27, about 6 days later than it normally runs, and will start in Leeds, England.
Also announced at the time by the Tour organizer Amaury Sports Organization were the selections for Paris-Nice (March 9 through 16) and Criterium Dauphine (June 8 through 15.)
IAM Cycling a Swiss team that brands itself with the tag line, “The only Swiss Pro team,” tweeted
|How could you blame them? Though the tweet link went to another tweet of the exact same topic, without pictures or statements from the team. Sylvain Chavanel who often pulls long lead outs in the Tour, and was the 2013 winner of the World Team Time Trial Championships and National Time Trial Championships, joins Jerome Pineau and Sebastien Hinault (and not related to Bernard Hinault) on the IAM team.After hearing from Christian Prudhomme about the team’s selection to all three events (TDF, Paris Nice and Criterium Dauphine), IAM Cycling’s General Manager, Michel Thétaz cracked open a bottle of champagne and spoke to reporters. “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…This means that our invitations from the ASO to the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné Libéré have brought us pure joy.”Joël Séché, président and général director of the Séché-Environnement team said, « I am incredibly happy to see our team that will hold, I am sure, very high our colors at this world évent.”Oddly, the Team Cofidis home page made not a single mention about being a part of the Tour de France. Their site even sported a story about a big party to introduce the 2014 team–with a picture of an empty ballroom. At the same time the site’s shopping page offering Cofidis team kits, was working pretty well.In accordance with Union Cycliste Internationale rules, eighteen pro teams were automatically invited to the three races, and
they include AG2R La Mondiale (Fra), Astana Pro Team (Kaz), Belkin Pro Cycling Team (Ned), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cannondale (Ita), FDJ.fr (Fra), Garmin Sharp (USA), Lampre-Merida (Ita), Lotto Belisol (Bel), Movistar Team (Esp) Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team (Bel), Orica – GreenEDGE (Aus), Team Europcar (Fra), Team Giant – Shimano (Ned), Team Katusha (Rus), Team Sky (Gbr), Tinkoff Saxo (Rus), Trek Factory Racing (USA)The other wild card teams selected for Paris-Nice were Bretagne – Séché Environnement (Fra), and Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra); and for the Criterium du Dauphine, Cofidis, Team NetApp-Endura.