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UnitedHealthcare, IAM Cycling among invitees to Paris-Roubaix, Fleche Wallonne

  • By Matthew Beaudin
  • Published Feb. 28, 2014
  • Updated Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM EDT
Seven wildcards, including UnitedHealthcare, will contest Paris-Roubaix in April. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Tour de France owner ASO announced the wildcard teams to compete in its three spring classics, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne, and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. Among the teams are American second-division UnitedHealthcare, the Swiss IAM Cycling team of Sylvain Chavanel, and Colombia.

Per UCI rules, the 18 first-division ProTeams are mandatory invites, but there is some organizer discretion when selecting wildcards. There is frequently a significant nationalist bent in terms of discretionary selections, but teams from France, the United States, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, and Colombia will get shots at the ASO classics this spring.

While not the powerhouse squads in the peloton, wildcards are capable of dazzling even the sport’s stars. Recall last year’s Milano-Sanremo for a recent tutorial, with MTN-Qhubeka’s Gerald Ciolek earning a crafty monument win.

Ciolek found himself in a fast six-man group coming off the rain-slick Poggio. Along for the ride were first-division riders Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, Sylvain Chavanel, Luca Paolini, and Ian Stannard. Ciolek, though, broke away at the last sliver of space in time and took an enormous win. So it’s with that in mind these teams will head for the classics.

Wildcards for the 2014 Paris-Roubaix:
Bretagne-Séché Environnement (Fra)
Cofidis (Fra)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
NetApp-Endura (Ger)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Unitedhealthcare (USA)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)

Wildcards for the 2014 La Flèche Wallonne:
Cofidis (Fra)
Colombia (Col)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
MTN-Qhubeka (RSA)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Unitedhealthcare (USA)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)

Wildcards for 2014 Liège-Bastogne-Liège:
Cofidis (Fra)
Colombia (Col)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
MTN-Qhubeka (RSA)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)

UCI ProTeams with automatic invitations:
Ag2r La Mondiale
Astana
Belkin
BMC Racing
Cannondale
FDJ.fr
Garmin-Sharp
Lampre-Merida
Lotto-Belisol
Movistar
Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Orica-GreenEdge
Europcar
Giant-Shimano
Katusha
Sky
Tinkoff-Saxo
Trek Factory Racing

FILED UNDER: News / Road TAGS: / / /

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder's journalism school in 2005 and immediately moved to Telluride, Colorado, to write and ski, though the order is fuzzy. Beaudin was the editor of the Telluride Daily Planet for five years. He now lives in Boulder, where he joined VeloNews in the spring of 2012. Music. Coffee. Bikes. His dog, Anabelle. That about sums it up. Follow him on Twitter @matthewcbeaudin.

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