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ASO invites gets political attention

Spanish politician Mariano Rajoy has called on French president Nicolas Sarkozy to pressure Tour de France organiser ASO into inviting 2007 winner Alberto Contador and his Astana team in this year's Tour according to Dutch newspaper The Telegraaf. ASO announced last week that Astana wouldn't be invited to contest any of its events this year, including the famed French Grand Tour, which starts in Brest on July 5.

"You can't not take a 25 year-old rider, who only has a short time to ride at a professional level, to a race of that calibre," said Rajoy.

ASO's decision not to invite Astana was met with dissatisfaction by Rajoy, the leader of the Spanish Peoples' Party, who believes the decision to be a blunder on the behalf of the French authorities.

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