Argos joins three French wildcards for Tour de France
German ace Marcel Kittel will get his wish to try to win a stage inthe Tour de France after his Argos-Shimano team on Friday joined three French squads as four wildcard selections
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German ace Marcel Kittel will get his wish to try to win a stage inthe Tour de France after his Argos-Shimano team on Friday joined three French squads as four wildcard selections to race the 2012 edition.
French squads Cofidis, Saur-Sojasun and Europcar round out the invitations.
ASO released the four teams Friday afternoon that will join the pre-selected 18 ProTeams to line up for the June 30 start in Liège, Belgium.
Kittel will be the anchor of the Argos-Shimano squad, which has been impressive so far in the early going of the 2012 season. Kittel’s victory at GP Scheldeprijs probably helped seal the team’s Tour fate, just day’s after Tour boss Christian Prudhomme attended the team’s new sponsor unveiling.
Saur-Sojasun will be back for its second Tour while longtime teams Cofidis and Europcar also get a nod. Europcar will feature popular attacker Thomas Voeckler, who captured French imaginations during an unlikely run in yellow in 2011, and last year’s best young rider and Alpe d’Huez winner Pierre Roland.
Teams already selected for the 2012 Tour de France:
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (Esp)
FDJ – Big Mat (Fra)
Garmin – Barracuda (USA)
Greenedge Cycling Team (Aus)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre – ISD (Ita)
Liquigas – Cannondale (Ita)
Lotto Belisol Team (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Omega Pharma – Quickstep (Bel)
Rabobank Cycling Team (Hol)
Radioshack – Nissan (Lux)
Sky Procycling (Gbr)
Team Saxo Bank (Dan)
Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team (Hol)