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No Mercury at the Tour(8 posts)

No Mercury at the TourBrit Racer
May 2, 2001 6:48 AM
Five rather than 4 teams were announced today:

Euskadi-Euscatel, Lotto, Big-Mat, FdJ, CSC World.

No Mercury, Saeco, Mercatone-Uno...

Mercury have every right to feel agrieved IMO.

re: No Mercury at the Tourmuncher
May 2, 2001 7:28 AM
Why the Mercury beef - I haven't been following this?
what are the criteria?peloton
May 2, 2001 8:41 AM
Do you have to be French to get in? I mean, Big Mat, La Frace de Jeux, and CSC as three of the wildcard picks! What have any of these teams done this year? CSC may have JaJa, but he has been injured and not doing a thing. And other French teams that are in include Jean Delatour, AG2r Prevoyance, and Bonjour. None of these teams are what I would call contenders. I would also be surprised if any of these teams do anything significant during the race as well.

Okay, sorry about the rant. Imagine a tour without three solid division one teams. Saeco, Mercury, and Mercatoni Uno would have made interesting racing in the Tour. No Cipo in the first week. No Marco in the mountains.

Something should be done to make the selection methods be made more upon merit, and less upon nationalist politics. I hope Lance wins again and really pisses the whole country off.
what are the criteria?Larry Meade
May 2, 2001 1:43 PM
Just to clarify, CSC is actually a Danish team. Their star rider, Laurent Jalabert is French.

May 2, 2001 2:24 PM
True, CSC is a Danish team. I ask though, do you think that they would have been accepted without a FRENCH team leader? Probably not. Even Jalabert admits that the mountains are too hard on him, and he will never win the Tour. The rest of CSC hasn't done much this season either. Their acceptance was based more on their French influence and leadership than their Danish roots.

It's a shame that nationalistic politics are interfering with a great INTERNATIONAL event. Imagine the outcry if the host country for the Olympics allowed inferior athletes from their country in while neglecting superior international stars. It would be an outrage. The Society de Tour de France needs to get a clue.

The Giro should be interesting this year. It's too bad Postal won't have a team there.
Keep in mind...RobO
May 2, 2001 8:24 PM
That this is the Tour de France, since it is in France. Because of that the majority of the audience is from France. Also one must realize that since the audience is primarily french, sponsors will be primarily french companies. I would think that a french audience would like to see french teams.
Keep in mind...campyguy
May 3, 2001 9:57 AM
I do not totally agree that the french would want to see a majority of french teams- I would expect it to be an issue of national pride that the hands-down crown jewel of the racing season is owned by their country, and teams from all over the world fight for the honor to ride in it. If I were french, I would be proud that my country was home to an event of such stature that the best riders from all over the world came for it.

I believe that the stature of the TdF was diminished by such a focus on the home team (lower-quality teams, even).

-Campy Guy
Crown Jewel no longerSmart A.
May 3, 2001 1:08 PM
This is the problem. Teams do indeed fight for the honor of competing in it. They are told that they must win races and achieve a high UCI ranking. Teams do this and are not invited. The message is this. If you are a quality foreign rider and you want to ride in the Tour, you had better leave your current team and ride for a French team, any French team, even a Division II French team. Then, and only then, will you be assured of a ride in the Tour.
Sure, people from all over the world will still show great interest int he race this year. But if they do it again next year, even avid cyclists will lose interest.
The thing that made the race was both the difficulty and the level of competition. This year, it's full of Division II and pack filler French teams. If Armstrong hadn't won last year, US Postal would have been selected. The Giro and Vuelta are now more difficult and more competative. The podium winner and the winner of the team competition in these races will have more to brag about then the podium and team competition winner of the Tour.