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Cofidis, Direct Energie among Tour wildcard invites

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Cofidis is among four wildcard teams that will compete at the Tour de France this summer. Photo courtesy Cofidis team.

The Tour de France has released its list of wildcard teams that will compete in this summer’s French grand tour.

Along with the 18 WorldTour teams who are automatically granted invites into the race, the following four Pro Continental squads will race at the Tour de France, scheduled for July 7-29:

– Cofidis
– Direct Energie
– Team Fortuneo Samsic
– Wanty-Groupe Gobert

These 18 teams have WorldTour status for 2018:

– Ag2r la Mondiale
– Astana
– Bahrain-Merida
– BMC Racing
– Bora-Hansgrohe
– FDJ
– Lotto-Soudal
– Mitchelton-Scott
– Movistar
– Quick-Step Floors
– Dimension Data
– EF Education First-Drapac-Cannondale
– Katusha-Alpecin
– Lotto NL-Jumbo
– Sky
– Team Sunweb
– Trek-Segafredo
– UAE Team Emirates

The UCI announced last summer that teams will be allowed to bring eight riders to grand tours rather than nine, starting in 2018. The move is aimed to bolster safety and security within the peloton, which will shrink to 176 riders because of the new rule.

The 2018 Tour will cover 3,329 kilometers, the smallest number since 2002, contains six mountain stages, and three summit finishes. Stage 9 will feature 21.7km of cobblestones in northern France.

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