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TdeF Wild Card Pics(2 posts)

TdeF Wild Card Picsms
Aug 1, 2003 5:33 AM
When the final wild card pics were announced in May, there was a lot of discussion and controversy about them -- most specifically the exclusion of Mario Cippolini and generally the favoritism shown to French teams. With hindsight, I have no complaint about the wild cards. I doubt that Cippolini would have lasted in the race any longer than his fellow countryman (and successor?) Alessandro Petacchi did. None of the wild card teams performed badly and several had very good performances (for example: fdjeux.com had the yellow jersey for several days and won the green jersey; Euskatel had two high finishers in the GC). None of the wild cards lost as many riders as Fasso Bortolo did. Reactions?
it almost always works outmohair_chair
Aug 1, 2003 6:23 AM
I think the Tour organizers know what they are doing, and excluding Mario was a bold move that seemed to pay off to me. Mario and his team are an intimidating force, and the race ends up fairly controlled as a result. That might be great for Mario, but it's boring for spectators and viewers.

All those small French teams that got slots did a lot to animate the race, and that is what the organizers want. Last year, or the year before, there was a wasted slot on Big Mat, which was so inept it couldn't even come in last, but this year I think they got it right.

(fdjeux also won two stages, by the way. Euskatel won one.)