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Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil still waiting for word on Tour invitations

Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) makes an attack.

Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) makes an attack. (Image credit:

Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil still don't know whether they will receive wild-card invitations to the Tour de France. The Tour, which starts in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on July 3, is scheduled to announce the final team line-up sometime this month, but while Tour director Christian Prudhomme visited the Dutch city this week, he still did not make any announcement.

"It is a difficult choice,” he said on Thursday, exactly 100 days before the start of the Tour. “Which 22 teams will be at the start will soon be announced.''

The two Dutch Professional Continental teams have already heard that they are not invited to the Giro d'Italia, which starts in Amsterdam. This week the Amaury Sport Organisation, which also is responsible for the Tour de France, said that they are not invited to the Flèche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège, which are

Skil-Shimano rode the Tour last year, and Vacansoleil was in the Vuelta a Espana, which started n Assen, the Netherlands.

"The choice is difficult,'', said Prudhomme. “Sixteen teams are set. For the remaining six places, we are considering ten to twelve teams.” Those teams include Sky, Radio Shack, BMC and Cervelo, all of which would required a wild card.

Adding any more teams than 22 does not come into question, according to Prudhomme. “Two additional teams are not possible because of security'', he said. "It is really a difficult choice, with many issues involved.”

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