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Pantani and Cipollini not in TdF...(3 posts)

Pantani and Cipollini not in TdF...dust
May 2, 2002 9:59 AM
Hmmmmm, Hot off the press....

By Michael Mcdonough, Associated Press, 5/2/2002 12:04

PARIS (AP) Former champion Marco Pantani and 12-time stage winner Mario Cipollini failed to win wild-card places in the Tour de France on Thursday.

Race officials handed out the five remaining spots in the 2002 race to four French teams and one Italian team.

The wild cards in the July 6-28 race were given to Italy's Saeco and French squads Bonjour, Credit Agricole, La Francaise des Jeux and AG2R Prevoyance.

Tour organizers had already named 16 squads, including Lance Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team, based on results for the 2001 season.

Pantani, the 1998 Tour champion, was left out of the Tour for the second straight year. Pantani's Mercatone Uno team is ranked 30th in the UCI's world standings.

Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc said that Pantani and his team might be given a place in the Tour if the rider performs well at this year's Giro d'Italia, which begins May 11.

''If Marco Pantani reappears at the top level, for example in the Giro, we will look at the situation,'' Leblanc said.

Leblanc also said Cipollini's Acqua e Sapone team was a top contender for the place that went to AG2R, but was left out because the Italian star ''had indicated a preference for the Giro and the Tour of Spain.''

Cipollini won the Milan-San Remo race earlier this year and is fourth in the World Cup standings.

The 2002 tour starts in Luxembourg and takes riders through Germany, northern France, the Pyrenees mountains, the southeastern Provence region and the Alps.

The race finishes with the traditional ride down the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Never mind I just saw the previous post, sorry. n/mdust
May 2, 2002 10:01 AM
too bad it takes so many weaker teams to make up 30 Frenchmen.nmQubeley
May 2, 2002 10:11 AM