Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) was all smiles after winnnig Milano-Torino
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Saxo-Tinkoff captain threatened to skip Tour de France 2013
Tour de France organizers will not change the way they distribute wildcard invitations in light of Alberto Contador's veiled threat to miss the race if he is not given enough advance warning.
The WorldTour teams automatically receive places in all the major races but the UCI has still not confirmed if Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff team will receive a WorldTour licence for 2013.
Contador recently gave an interview to French tv in which he said, “I would love to do the Tour obviously. I missed it this year. But if I only find out two months before, then I won't [be there]. I need enough time to prepare. Otherwise I won't be a part of it."
“We can not say too much right now, because it is up to the UCI, whether Alberto Contador's team gets a license and thus an automatic invitation,” ASO spokesman Fabrice Tiano told sporten.dk. “But we will not change our distribution of wild cards to give special consideration to Alberto Contador.”
The wildcard invitations for the 2012 Tour de France were issued in early April, about three months before the race's start.
Ironically, Contador won the Giro d'Italia in 2008 when his Team Astana received a last-minute wildcard invitation to the race – about one week before the start. He said that he was spending a holiday on the beach when he was notified that the team would ride the Giro.
Saxo-Tinkoff could fail to secure a WorldTour licence for 2013 because the points Contador received for winning the Vuelta a Espana this year do not count towards the team's licence. Riis has signed numerous new riders with as many points as possible to help his bid but five teams are vying for the final three WorldTour licences, with Saxo-Tinkoff and Argos-Shimano said to be battling for one of the final spots.
The UCI has said it will announce its final decision on December 10.
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Tour de France 2013