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The Saxo Bank team, led by Alberto Contador
Only seven of 18 WorldTour teams participating
Team Saxo Bank has not been invited to ride the Criterium International next month, a race organized by Tour de France organizer Amaury Sport Organisation. But the team does not believe that it is a reflection on the team for Alberto Contador's two-year suspension for doping.
Sixteen teams will take on the two-day race the end of March, with only seven of them being WorldTour teams.
Saxo Bank spokesman Anders Damgaard did not see anything suspicious in the news. “It's not a race we have ridden the past few years, and if there is room for seven of 18 WorldTour teams in the race, then there are 11 WorldTour teams who can't participate,” he told the Ritzau news agency.
Race spokesman Fabrice Tiano said: “I cannot say how we have selected the teams.”
The sixteen teams chosen are Euskaltel-Euskadi, Garmin-Barracuda, Ag2r, BMC Racing Team, FDJ-BigMat, RadioShack-Nissan, Sky, Colombia-Coldeportes, Team Type 1, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Saur-Sojasun, Europcar, Project 1t41, Auber 93 and La Pomme Marseille.