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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TDF 2010: who'd make the cut if next year's rules were used?

As reported in Cycling News today “as of next year, the selection process will change under an agreement between the organisers of the three Grand Tours and the UCI. The first 17 teams in the world ranking as of the end of the 2010 season will automatically be invited to the 2011 Tour de France and the organisers can issue wildcard invitations to fill the remaining places.”

What if that was the rule this year? Here’s the top 17 teams in the UCI world rankings at the end of 2009.

1. Astana
2. Caisse D’Epargne
3. HTC
4. Saxobank
5. Liquigas
6. Silence Lotto
7. Cervelo
8. Quickstep
9. Rabobank
10. Katusha
11. Garmin
12. Euskaltel
13. Lampre
14. SERRAMENTI PVC DIQUIGIOVANNI
15. Acqua & Sapone
16. Francaise des Jeux
17. AG2R

Present in the 17 are Cervelo, Katusha and Garmin – all who required (and received) wildcards for this year’s tour. This would’ve freed up 3 out of the 5 remaining wildcards (based on 22 teams riding).

Interestingly, present too are Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni and Acqua & Sapone.

Absent from the top 17 but who were automatic entries this year under the 2008 agreement, is Milram (18th 2009), Bbox (19th), Cofidis (20th), and Footon Servetto (23rd). BMC ranked 33rd.

Of the 3 teams disappointed not to have been included this year, in 2009 Vacansoleil ranked 21st, Skil 26th, and Saur-Sojasun was under the name Besson Chaussures-Sojasun and is not on the list I found on the UCI website

2 wildcards would’ve still gone to Sky and Radioshack. And let’s say they would’ve gone for BMC again.

Who would you give the remaining two wildcards to out of let's say: Bbox, Cofidis, Vacansoleil, Skil Shimano and arguably Saur-Sojasun and Milram. And what do you think of next year’s system?

For info’s sake too, here's the current rankings (as at March 2010) via Cycling News.

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