ASO: Three Tour invites down to six teams

Tour organizer says four French teams, plus one each from Germany and Switzerland have a shot at a wildcard invite

PARIS (AFP) — Tour de France organizer ASO announced on Friday that six candidates were vying for three wildcard invitations to the 100th edition of the race this year.

The Pro Continental teams hoping for an invitation include four French squads: Bretagne-Séché, Cofidis, Europcar, and Sojasun. The German NetApp-Endura and Swiss IAM Cycling teams are also up for consideration. Each of the six teams will appear in at least one of ASO’s early stage races or classics.

ASO will limit its wildcards to three invitations in 2013 after the sport’s governing body, the UCI, granted Katusha a ProTeam license last month following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the team’s appeal over its exclusion from the sport’s top level. With 19 teams from the WorldTour guaranteed starting spots in Corsica on June 29, ASO maintained its 22-team roster, meaning one less Pro Continental squad will make the cut.