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Officials confirmed Tour de France wild card invitations Friday for 2022, with no major surprises.
Team Total Energies, anchored by the arrival of superstar Sagan, and French second-tier team B&B Hotels-KTM are the two invitations.
Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic already both punched their tickets as the first- and second-ranked teams, respectively, in the UCI ProTeam ranking.
The rest of the peloton is filled out by the 18 WorldTour teams, which see an automatic starting spot with their license status.
Who was left out?
Maybe Euskaltel-Euskadi or Uno-X Pro Cycling Team were harboring hopes, but there’s nothing too controversial about the choices.
Sagan’s high-profile arrival to TotalEnergies was the cherry on the top of the cake that was almost a guaranteed invite already. B&B was perhaps the team most vulnerable, but ASO likes to see its French teams in the French grand tour.
Race director Christian Prudhomme said the selection of Sagan’s team was “logical” given the Slovakian’s “emblematic” stature in cycling.
“It is a logical choice,” said Prudhomme. “Sagan is an emblematic person in a sport not blessed with many.”
The director of the Tour also indicated that he’s got his eyes on other teams for future selection, including Uno-X and rising star Norwegian Tobias Johannessen.
“We have invited them to several of our races and we will follow their fortunes closely,” said Prudhomme.
The 2022 Tour de France begins July 1 in Copenhagen, and concludes July 24 in Paris.
💛 #TDF2022 team selection 💛
✅ The 18 UCI WorldTeams
🤩 See you in July! pic.twitter.com/WFbdyGUy1l
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) February 11, 2022