By VeloNews Interactive
At an awards ceremony in Madrid on Saturday, five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain criticized race organizers for not keeping Italian climber Marco Pantani in the 2001 race.
Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc a week ago named five wild-card teams, but did not include Pantani’s Italian outfit, Mercatone Uno.
“As a supporter, it upsets me that such great riders as Pantani are not going to the Tour de France,” Indurain said. “The organizers have followed the rules, taking the top 15 teams and invitations are their affair. It all depends on their sponsors. (The organizers) are a separate entity and they have acted in their own private interests.”
Copyright AFP 2001