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Cipo Not Invited to TdF!(35 posts)

Cipo Not Invited to TdF!merckxman
May 19, 2003 4:09 AM
from "The Amaury Sports Organisation has announced the names of the final four teams that will participate in this year's Centenary Tour de France. At a press conference in Paris today, the ASO named French teams Ag2r-Prevoyance, Brioches La Boulangère and Jean Delatour and Spanish squad Euskaltel-Euskadi to fill the remaining places.

After the semi-collapse of Team Coast last week, 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich did not get an invitation, despite a plan to relaunch the team as Bianchi. In addition, Alex Zülle's Phonak squad also missed out on Tour selection. The biggest shock was that World Champion Mario Cipollini's Domina Vacanze team didn't get an invite, despite Cipo's immense popularity and status as one of the world's best sprinters.

The ASO's director of cycling Daniel Baal indicated that there was a fair chance that a 22nd team would be selected, provided that the suspension of Team Coast by the UCI was not lifted. "Team Coast still exists," said Baal. "The situation has yet to be clarified by the UCI."
I suggest that those that believe that Cipo should receive an invitation email the TdF organization at with their thoughts on the matter. Not only is Mario the World Champion, yesterday de tied Binda's record for most Giro stage wins: 41. He has a few stages to attempt to break the record which has lasted for many decades.
Yeah, WTF!Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 4:17 AM
A sporting travesty, to say the least. Didn't Euskatel have the only guy to fail an EPO test during last year's tour and yet they're invited when ASO used the doping excuse to keep deserving teams out last year?

They've left it open to let Ullrich's new team in when it gets formed, probably DV will be the back-up team if this doesn't happen.

The most deserving team out of all the omitted teams is clearly Milanezza and they weren't even in the running.
I agree....philippec
May 19, 2003 4:33 AM
the little men in green (Milanezza) have been dynamiting the peleton in Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie -- if their DS had his head on right, he would have asked to be considered for a Tour invite -- but he didn't .... aarrrggghh!

Who should have been picked:
Domina Vaccanze
Brioches la Boulangere

Who should not been picked:
Jean Delatour!


No Flat stage funteoteoteo
May 19, 2003 5:13 AM
I will have to say that I am pretty sad about Cipo and his Zebra Bunch will not be at the "Pointed end of of the Stick" come the Flat stages of Letour.

I was looking forward to making a few of the flatter stages this year. Not that I won't go see them now but seeing the best fight it out is something special. Like Jan and Lance in 2001 or 2000 with Pantani throwing in some jabs in the Mountains.

The ASO is sticking to the company line that teams and NOT riders make the Tour Special. The other side of the coin removing riders that stand out in lieu of a team concept is quickest way to boring, stale, and forgettable racing.

TDF history and founder Henri Desgrange were riddled with silly stories of exclusion just for petty reasons, it's sad to see that 100 years later the ASO has not moved to far from that.....
No surprise that Milanezza was left outmohair_chair
May 19, 2003 8:08 AM
Milanezza (sp?) missed a mandatory ASO meeting early in the year, and any team that hoped to ride the Tour had to be there. Oops! The ASO made it clear that there was no possibility that they would be invited, despite their very good year so far. Milanezza accepted their fate already and is planning on the Tour for next year.
No Cipo, No Big Jan, just a re-run of 2002, boring!!! nmQubeley
May 19, 2003 4:44 AM
Tyler may give Lance a run nmDougSloan
May 19, 2003 7:52 AM
Lance is not the only thing about tour..Qubeley
May 19, 2003 1:13 PM
Maybe Tyler will be Lance's playmate in the mountains. But the tour is not just about Lance, or about climbing. What about the flat stages? Are they there just to fill the gaps between mountains? And sprinters bunch of clowns?
When I watch old cycling videos like "Greatest Show on Earth" or "A Sunday in Hell", do I care who wins it? No, I don't. I just want to see the big dogs ride side by side, in yellow jersey, in national jerseys, in rainbow jersey. If Cipo is in the tour, he is guaranteed to win at least one stage. Whereas Jean Delator(sp?) will win a stage only if they are lucky, Bonjour(new name?) will not win a stage with or without luck..If they just select any small dog team that might "animate" the tour by being aggressive, they may as well invite my team, bunch of cat4s and cat5s, if we get selected, we promise to attack like mad everyday. And if we are lucky, we might even have one or two guys finish the tour.

Speaking of rainbow jersey, IMHO, the rainbow jersey deserve more respect. I wish UCI consider giving world champion automatic selection for grand tours. This way, world championship will see the most fierce battle, and we should always see a deserving world champion (no Roman Vainsatein!)
You know my opinion on this matter!nmthe bull
May 19, 2003 5:16 AM
Shame on Baal and LeBlanc!AFred
May 19, 2003 5:30 AM
It's disgusting to see Jean Delatour get an invite while the World Champion is left out. It's seems that whining about a team's viability carries more weight that winning races, animating tours and entertaining fans. Shame on Amoury for this fiasco.
Shame on Baal and LeBlanc!Jon Billheimer
May 19, 2003 8:25 AM
French provincialism outdoes itself once again. I wonder if LeBlanc and Chirac are relatives? Or just soulmates?
Here we go again.....KG 361
May 19, 2003 8:39 AM
This was rehashed many times last year.
1-Cipo doesn't even like the TdF
2-There are several sprinters that have proved themselves as fast or faster than Cipo.
3-These other sprinters will probably even make it to Paris-not Cipo.Let him have his glory @ the Giro.
Which faster sprinters are the world champion?Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 8:52 AM
And furthermore really, there are only two sprinters this year (and last) that have proven they are on par with Cipollini. Petacchi and McEwen are the only two that have consistently challenged Cipo, and he's given as good as he's got from them.
Getting to paris is the business of GC guys, not sprinters!BergMann
May 19, 2003 9:02 AM
I'm afraid you've got the wrong race in mind -- getting to Paris is the concern of GC riders and maybe three guys in contention for the Green jersey. We already know that two of those guys will be Zabel and McEwen (who based on your criteria shouldn't be riding the Giro right now because he's not going to finish), and if it's O'grady instead of Mario in the final sprint, who cares?

Everyone else is there for the chance to _maybe_ win a stage. THe concern for the tour direction is not that Mario might or might not win a stage (he's got the best sprint record in the business in major stage races), it's that if he's there, his team will pull back breaks, which are the only chance mediocre french cycling has for a victory in July.

The "not finishing the race" thing is just a hypocritical pretense for protectionism, nothing more!
Getting to paris is the business of GC guys, not sprinters!KG 361
May 19, 2003 9:27 AM
Let's see, who was it that challenged Zabel for the green jersey last year? McEwen? He's a "sprinter". What's the point of having a guy in the race that you KNOW won't finish and will only take chances away from your countrymen to win a race-it is France's race, anyway, isn't it? It is not a "world championship" or similar-it is after all the hype, their race, so I guess they get to make the rules. The fact that it is the most popular and prestigiuos bike race in the world just happens to be icing on the cake for them. We don't invite other countries teams to our Superbowl, World series, or NBA championships do we?
You're analogy is no good...Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 9:33 AM
for starters no one gets invited to any of those three championships. So, you honesty feel that McEwen has added nothing to this year's Giro?
You're analogy is no good...KG 361
May 19, 2003 9:46 AM
Of course he has. I don't agree with him not finishing the Giro, but I don't have control over that. However, it would stil have great sprint finishes even if he wasn't there. Just my opinion.
Getting to paris is the business of GC guys, not sprinters!Spoiler
May 19, 2003 11:46 AM
So why not slap a track pursuiter on a team, let him kick ass in the prologue, then he can abandon after stage 1?
If Italy wants a race to showcase their sprinter, they can just go and create their own tour and invite whomever they want. Oh wait they already did.
My question is why America, who claim the world's greatest cyclists, isn't able to organize and put on a national tour. Our own Armstrong doesn't even race in his own country.
and the answer is....ClydeTri
May 19, 2003 12:13 PM
$$$$$$$$$$$$ takes a sponsor to make it happen, then all else would fall into place. Hope is that the new Tour de Georgia will become that race you dream of..I hope it does. Tour duPont and what else it was called was the prevous hope to become such a race..but, sponsor(s) bailed...
Good argument, guess we'd better uninvite Moreau and Millar!BergMann
May 20, 2003 11:59 AM
Were debating two irreconcilable sides of the nationalist/internationalist coin.

France has a national championship -- _that_ is "France's" race (Quick, can you recall the French national champion in 10 seconds or less without mnemonic aids? Do you/did you ever care?)

I simply don't agree that the grand tours are national affairs these days, or if they really ever were. Selection criteria are governed by the UCI, an international organization regulating a deeply international sport. What is more, these races rely heavily on international sponsorship. I would still agree that the host organizations are curators of the traditions of their respective races, but the "grand" tradition of the TdF wouldn't mean squat in today's cycling world without the best international riders.

The fact of the matter is that the ASO _deliberately_ left off the world champion, who is still winning stages in grand tours, when they had a chance to invite him. This even goes against the "French" tradition of including the team of the world champ. This and many other factors suggest that snubbing Cipo has _nothing_ to do with sporting criteria. It's a vendetta.

As for your suggestion that riders be selected on the basis of the liklihood of their finishing the entire race, I suppose the ASO should uninvite Credit Agricole and Cofidis. Do you remember the last time Moreau or Millar finished?
Lots of guys don't finish.KG 361
May 21, 2003 5:38 AM
However, most of them fully INTEND to finish. Cipo has/had no intentions of finishing. A bit of a difference. That said, the World Champion should be invited.
I think you've probably touched...Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 9:40 AM
on the main underlying reason ASO doesn't want Cipo there. Problem is, Lotto will be doing the same for McEwen but I guess one less team committed to the sprint finish does increase the odds a frenchman will win a stage.
Give Leblanc a break: quotas & the french national pastimeBergMann
May 19, 2003 8:48 AM
It must suck to be part of a society whose national past-time is losing to Lance Armstrong, much less the group that organizes the annual humiliation.

I mean, come on -- if you were Leblanc, why support exciting, legendary _Italian_ riders, when you can pad your domestic quota with another 9 French mediocrities?
I won't even watch it.LC
May 19, 2003 9:22 AM
Only thing left to watch is how many minutes (or hours) Lance can beat everyone up the big hills. No Jalerbert, no Cipo, no Alex Zülle and no Ullrich? Leave it to the French to stick it to us again. Might as well just enjoy the Giro, and then enjoy my own cycling till Spain comes in September.
Why invite Cipo's team to TDF?ClydeTri
May 19, 2003 10:16 AM
Why should you invite a team whose star rider will most likley intentionally quit well before the end of the race? Good decision on part of the TdF organization.
Yeah, better to invite...Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 10:28 AM
2 or 3 teams that don't have any star riders, half of which will be forced out by the end because they're weak and the other half will hide in the peloton for 3 weeks or maybe just maybe try a long breakaway. Brochard being the one exception but still his only chance is the long-shot breakaway.
would eliminating....ClydeTri
May 19, 2003 10:38 AM
would eliminating two or three invitations for teams make for better racing for all those teams left by reducing the congestion? If so, maybe they should eliminate the last few team spots on the roster...
Probably not, but inviting...Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 10:44 AM
DV would have added immensely to the spectacle for the early flat stages, and Milaneza (the 6th ranked team in the world this year) would have added immensely to the mountain and intermediate stages. Some bulls**t excuse that they missed such and such a meeting 3 months ago is lame. The TdF is suppose to be the biggest bike race in the world and it is due to it's history. The point is they're inviting teams that demote the race rather than adding to its status as the biggest bike race in the world.
Do u really care whether Cipo quits or finishes in 125th place?elviento
May 19, 2003 12:18 PM
Putting on a show in the flat stages is what counts for spinters.
Do u really care whether Cipo quits or finishes in 125th place?ClydeTri
May 19, 2003 12:24 PM
Could it make a differnce that most other sprinters are pacing themselves to ride the whole tour and, that their whole teams arent generated just to get them a sprinters stage win?
Cipo says he wants to finishtorquecal
May 19, 2003 4:04 PM
He's been quoted at least twice this year saying he wanted to race the final stage in Paris... something along the lines of putting the World Championship jersey into contention for the final stage win.
Yup, now 42 - He won again today! nmrockit
May 19, 2003 2:19 PM
Thanks for ruining today's stage you spoiling M-Fer. nmpurplepaul
May 19, 2003 3:02 PM
how do you think new talent breaks through???? NM (greg lemond)stik__boy
May 19, 2003 4:39 PM
spoiler deleted -- moderator nmDougSloan
May 20, 2003 6:28 AM