PARIS (AFP) — The invitations for the next Tour de France were awarded Tuesday to the two second-division French teams, Bretagne-Séché Environnement, and Cofidis, as well as the Swiss IAM Cycling and German NetApp-Endura squads, organizer ASO announced.
French time trial champion and former yellow jersey Sylvain Chavanel joined IAM Cycling in the off-season. That move boosted the Swiss team’s profile for the French grand tour.
Twenty-two teams of nine riders each will start the 101st edition of the Tour, which begins on July 5 in Yorkshire, England.
ASO also confirmed wildcard invitations for its Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné races.
Bretagne, Cofidis, and IAM Cycling will start the former in March. Cofidis, IAM Cycling, and NetApp will complete the roster for the Dauphiné in June.