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How did USPS first qualify for the TDF? Wild Card?..nm(20 posts)

How did USPS first qualify for the TDF? Wild Card?..nmchopper
Jun 27, 2003 8:12 AM
Jun 27, 2003 8:23 AM
Interestingly enough, USPS is in the race for sort of the same reason that the crap French teams are -- LeBlanc saw the value of having an American team be at the race, so they got the invite that would previously have gone to the Motorola team (and 7-11 before that).
the team leader was Frenchmohair_chair
Jun 27, 2003 8:41 AM
I think they wanted an American team, but USPS also had a French team leader in the pre-Lance era, Jean Cyril-Robin. (I think that's it and how it's spelled) That certainly didn't hurt.

Plus, historically, USPS didn't squander its entries. They showed up to race and animated a few stages, which in truth, is all the organisers ask. Just off the top of my head, there was 1997, when Hamilton came in second to Ullrich in the first TT, and 1998, when Hincapie was in a spirited battle with Stuart O'Grady for the yellow jersey.
I wouldn't have called JCR the "leader"TJeanloz
Jun 27, 2003 8:50 AM
At the first Tour they were in as USPS (1997), the team was really a mish-mash of guys who had a shot at taking a stage or two - really the American equivilent of Jean Delatour. While Jean Cyril-Robin was the best GC rider they had, they didn't really ride "for" him, as you would a normal team leader (reflected in his being #199, instead of #191).

I think the motive was really to have an American team, after so many of the Motorola guys went to Cofidis.
Jun 27, 2003 8:44 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the team that the previous year's tdf winner is on is given an automatic bid to defend his title.
Right, but the question was the FIRST invite - 1997 (nm)TJeanloz
Jun 27, 2003 8:52 AM
you are correct, sir (nm)bicycle268
Jun 27, 2003 8:57 AM
Jun 27, 2003 8:53 AM
But if you are going for your first invitation, you are obviously not the defending champion.

when will another U.S. team step up?bicycle268
Jun 27, 2003 9:05 AM
when Lance retires it's assumed that us postal will fold. At that point will Leblanc still be as eager to have a US team in the fold? If so, will a US team have enough $$ backing to make the jump?
when will another U.S. team step up?TJeanloz
Jun 27, 2003 9:37 AM
I don't know about the assumption that USPS will fold when Lance retires. If one of the other, moderately younger Americans (Leipheimer, Hamilton, etc.), becomes a real Tour contender, I think there's a good chance that Postal would continue sponsorship with them at the helm. Regardless, the team is so stacked with talent that it would likely pick up a European title sponsor.

I think it's entirely possible that a U.S. company will take over the role of USPS in cycling. It just takes the right environment -- like Saturn cars being sold in Europe.
when will another U.S. team step up?RFN
Jun 27, 2003 11:47 AM
Hamilton is actually a bit older than Armstrong, but came later to cycling. He didn't start until he was at UC Boulder.

Leipheimer is a bit younger than both, and will turn 30 this year.
If I remember correctly weren't the Trek's red??.....nmchopper
Jun 27, 2003 8:55 AM
White front, fade to red rear (nm)TJeanloz
Jun 27, 2003 9:43 AM
in related news, 9th slot for TdF USPS team...JS Haiku Shop
Jun 27, 2003 9:56 AM

Still waiting on final word from Postal
U.S. Postal Service team is still waiting to announce the final rider to round out its nine-man Tour team. Last week, the team announced eight of its nine riders, with the final position to be decided among Floyd Landis, Guennadi Mikhailov or Benoit Joachim.
I bet Benoit Joachim (nm)TJeanloz
Jun 27, 2003 9:58 AM
too bad not Michael Barry...Frith
Jun 27, 2003 10:24 AM
I know he won't make it... but it would be nice (for me at least) to see a local Torontonian riding in the Tour with the posties.
in related news, 9th slot for TdF USPS team...MellowVelo
Jun 27, 2003 11:44 AM
As much as I'd like to root for Landis, I don't think he has the form & USPS needs another strong man for the flats - that's Joachim.
What happened to Johann??? ;) (NM)SpecialTater
Jun 27, 2003 11:52 AM
re: How did USPS first qualify for the TDF? Wild Card?..nmm1k
Jun 27, 2003 10:06 AM
While I understand that the UCI rules constantly change, the general approach of automatic qualifiers and wild cards has been around for some time. So Posties Wild it is.

Btw: Team-selection process for 2003

22 teams of 9 riders will be invited for the Tour de France 2003. The teams will be selected according to the new rules of the UCI.
· The top 14 teams in the UCI rankings at the end of October 2002 automatically qualify.
· 4 teams will receive a wild card from the organizers at the end of January 2003.
· 4 teams will receive a wild card mid-May 2003, based on the results of the teams in 2003.

The top twenty teams in the final rankings of the UCI 2002 were:
1 - Mapei - Quick Step (Ita) - 9245pts
2 - Fassa Bartolo (Ita) - 8083
3 - US Postal Service (Usa) - 6820
4 - Lotto - Adecco (Bel) - 6662
5 - Team Coast (Ger) - 6308
6 - Cofidis (Fra) - 6307
7 - ONCE - Eroski (Spa) - 6116
8 - (Spa) - 5993
9 - Rabobank (Ned) - 5829
10 - CSC-Tiscali (Den) - 5789
11 - Gerolsteiner (Ger) - 5667
12 - Team Telekom (Ger) - 5534
13 - Kelme - Costa Blanca (Spa) - 5359
14 - Alessio (Ita) - 5101
15 - DOMO-Farm Frites (Bel) - 5096
16 - Saeco-Longoni Sport (Ita) - 4913
17 - Tacconi Sport (Ita) - 4902
18 - Lampre - Daikin (Ita) - 4826
19 - Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo (Ita) - 4597
20 - Phonak Hearing Systems (Swi) - 4031
So the top 14 clubs automatically qualify for a place in the 2003 Tour

Teams already qualified for the 2003 Tour are:
ITALY: Fassa Bortolo, Alessio, Saeco
SPAIN: Kelme, Once, Ibanesto
FRANCE: Cofidis
HOLLAND: Rabobank
GERMANY: Team Telekom, Team Coast, Gerolsteiner
BELGIUM: Lotto-Domo
UNITED STATES: US Postal Service
and Mapei?? (nm)Rich_Racer
Jun 27, 2003 1:48 PM