Skil Shimano has presented its team for the 2009 season and has big hopes of a wild card at the Tour de France. The team has five French riders, and is racing 50 per cent of its programme in France. Such details can provide strong arguments to Tour de France organiser, ASO, when it comes to wildcard time, with five places up for grabs.
Skil has a tough battle against teams like Agritubel, Cervélo Testteam, Barloworld and LPR Brakes, but could be getting the precious fifth wild card. Skil was the first Pro Continental team that implemented a biological passport programme.
Javier Guillén, race director of the Vuelta a España, and his Tour de France counterpart Christian Prudhomme recently talked about the different possible teams for their races. Skil has good chances for a the Tour, while new team Vacansoleil has good hopes of making the Vuelta.
Skil's director Iwan Spekenbrink is still hesitant to acknowledge the news, but the team has good relations with ASO and will participate in several races, like the Tour de Qatar, Paris-Nice, the Critérium International and Paris-=Roubaix.