Tour de France wildcards announced

One French and one Spanish team have made it into the selection to participate in the 2006 Tour de France. Race organiser ASO announced on Thursday, March 2, that Continental Pro teams Agritubel and Comunidad Valenciana will line up their riders alongside the 20 ProTour teams in the next Grande Boucle.

The French outfit will probably again count on its leader Juan-Miguel Mercado, who already scored a stage win in the 2004 Tour de France. Spanish Comunidad Valenciana is thought to try its luck with Ruben Plaza, sixth of the overall classification of the Vuelta a España last year. Contrary to previous years, there will be no more entries available for the race - therefore, 22 teams (198 riders) will be taking the start of the greatest bike race on earth in Strasbourg on Saturday, July 1, 2006.

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