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French teams and Saeco: Leblanc makes his picks

Marco Pantani and Mario Cipollini will be on the sidelines for this summer's Tour de France after their teams again failed to receive one of the five wildcard invitations handed out Thursday by Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc. The Mercatone Uno team of Pantani, winner of the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, and the Acqua e Sapone team of sprinter Mario Cipollini, winner of the Milan-San Remo race in March, failed to receive wildcards. French teams Jean Delatour and BigMat and the German Team Coast outfit of reigning Tour of Spain champion Angel Casero similarly failed to make

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No zebra stripes at this Tour

By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002

Marco Pantani and Mario Cipollini will be on the sidelines for this summer’s Tour de France after their teams again failed to receive one of the five wildcard invitations handed out Thursday by Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc.

The Mercatone Uno team of Pantani, winner of the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and the Acqua e Sapone team of sprinter Mario Cipollini, winner of the Milan-San Remo race in March, failed to receive wildcards.

French teams Jean Delatour and BigMat and the German Team Coast outfit of reigning Tour of Spain champion Angel Casero similarly failed to make the grade.

The teams who received the last-minute invites were Saeco of Italy and French stables AG2R, Bonjour, Credit Agricole and Francaise des Jeux.

A total of 21 teams, of which five are French, with nine cyclists per team will compete in the shortest race since 1988, when there were 22 stages as opposed to the 20 in this year’s edition.

Sixteen teams were unveiled last October with the five remaining chosen on their results, and attitude over the early season.The complete 21-team roster, with teams named Thursday in BOLD Italy
1. FASSA BORTOLO
2. LAMPRE – DAIKIN
3. MAPEI – QUICK STEP
4. TACCONI SPORT
5. ALESSIO
6. SAECO – LONGONI SPORT *
 
France
7. AG2R PREVOYANCE *
8. BONJOUR *
9. COFIDIS LE CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE
10. CREDIT AGRICOLE *
11. FRANÇAISE DES JEUX *Spain
12. IBANESTO.COM
13. KELME – COSTA BLANCA
14. O.N.C.E.-EROSKI
15. EUSKALTEL-EUSKADIBelgium
16. DOMO-FARM FRITES
17. LOTTO-ADECCO
 
Germany
18. TEAM TELEKOM USA
19. US POSTAL SERVICE Denmark
20. TEAM CSC-TISCALINetherlands
21. RABOBANK