2009 Tour de France teams announced

Teams from Russia, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, the US, Denmark, Italy, Belgium and… France

by Tony Farrelly   March 17, 2009  

Tour de France logo

Straight from our inbox to you… Quite a lot of teams from France and assorted cycling nations plus the welcome return of one from Kazakhstan.

As expected the Cervelo Test Team get a wildcard entry – given their start to the season and the fact that last year's winner, Carlos Sastre rides for them it would have been pretty amazing if they hadn't.

20 teams will make up a peloton of 180 riders and set off from Monaco on the 96th edition of the Tour de France on the 4th of July. Can't wait.

Germany
Team Milram (MRM)

Belgium
Quick Step (QST)
Silence - Lotto (SIL)

Denmark
Team Saxo Bank (SAX)

Spain
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS)

United States
Garmin - Slipstream (GRM)
Team Columbia – High Road (THR)

France
AG2R La Mondiale (ALM)
Agritubel (AGR)
BBox Bouygues Telecom (BTL)
Cofidis, Le Crédit en Ligne (COF)
Française des Jeux (FDJ)

Italy
Lampre – N.G.C. (LAM)
Liquigas (LIQ)

Kazakhstan
Astana (AST)

Holland
Rabobank (RAB)
Skil-Shimano (SKS)

Russia
Team Katusha (KAT)

Switzerland
Cervélo Test Team (CTT)

6 user comments

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Why, in the name of all that's holy, are Liquigas riding the tour, for pity's sake?

Beltran tested positive last year, the team withdrew from the ICPT solely so they could sign Basso for a pro-tour ride 2 years before he should have got one, and Gianni Da Ros arrested for allegedly trafficking doping products.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
18th March 2009 - 21:50

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Especially as Fuji-Servetto (Saunier Duvall as was) were told very firmly that there were not welcome at ASO events. Fair enough Saunier did blot their copybook spectacularly at last year's Tour.

Someone was bound to break ranks and sign Basso - he's just too good a talent to ignore, but signing him, plus Beltran, plus Da Ros it doesn't look good does it.

Maybe ASO had run out of decent Pro Continental French teams to fill out the places?

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
18th March 2009 - 22:15

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Teams would be less likely to break ranks if there was a good chance of them being excluded from the premier events for doing so though. The "double penalty" rule for the pro-tour teams is worthless if it can be broken without consequence, imo.

In lots of ways this season could have marked a turning point in the way the sport treats doping and dopers - (actually sticking to the agreed penalties, for instance) given the return of some high profile names following bans, and following the strong showing by ASO and the AFLD(?) last year. Instead we have a team breaking an agreement (without consequence) and L'Equipe allegedly told to do less investigation of dopage. It's starting to look depressingly like business as usual circa the late 90s, early 2000s, isn't it?

I didn't expect the UCI to do anything about it, but had higher hopes for ASO given their stance last year - this decision is really disappointing.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
19th March 2009 - 10:06

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Can't argue with you there ASO's seem to be operating on the basis that if a team seriously pisses them off in one of their own events they will come down hard, but if the misbehaviour is outside one of their races, or them deem it to be minor stuff second chances will be given.

Probably what we are seeing is the results of the changes that happened at the top of ASO last autumn the catalyst for which was the row with the UCI. The hardliners who were coming down hard on the dopers and obviously had little time for the UCI were ousted in favour of pragmatists. The wrong side won - the Tour de France doesn't need the UCI and nor does professional road racing… don't get me started!

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
19th March 2009 - 10:52

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The ICPT had a code of conduct for Pro Tour teams that signed up to it, but having a Pro Tour licence and being a member of the ICPT are two seperate things.

As a Pro Tour team you have to adhere to UCI rules, so the 2 year ban for Basso is all that has to be served. If the team hiring him is also a member of ICPT then they have agreed to not hiring a convicted doper for 4 years, but this is a voluntary agreement.

Liquigas renounced it's ICPT membership to allow them to hire Basso, but it was still working within the UCI rules as he had served his 2 year ban, so could legitimately hire him and still keep a Pro Tour licence.

It's all political shinanigans, but it's still legit within the UCI rules. A life ban is the only way forward in my opinion, then there is no question of re-hiring.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
19th March 2009 - 11:08

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Sloppy terminology on my part in referring to it as a rule, I have to admit.

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
19th March 2009 - 13:36

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