02/05/96 FRANCE: CYCLING-ONLY ONE FRENCH TEAM GIVEN ENTRY INTO TOUR DE FRANCE. PARIS, Feb 5 (Reuter) - Only one French team has been given automatic entry into this year's Tour de France, organisers said on Monday. The GAN team, led by Briton Chris Boardman, is the only French outfit named in the initial list of 18 teams, based on world rankings, who are given direct entry into the race which starts in Den Bosch, Netherlands, on June 29. No less than seven Italian teams are on the list as are two from Spain, including Banesto, whose leader is five-times Tour champion Miguel Indurain. Organisers said four wild cards would be awarded to other teams on June 11. French cycling has been in the doldrums for several years with several leading teams being forced to give up through lack of sponsorship. The last French rider to win the Tour, cycling's most prestigious race, was Bernard Hinault in 1985. Speedily supplied by Bill Henderson
Tony Rominger of Switzerland, who last year won the Giro D'Italia and is setting his hopes on an elusive Tour de France victory before retiring at the end of the year, fractured a rib during training on Monday, team officials said.
But Rominger, 34, should not be out of the saddle long. Doctors diagnosed a fractured eighth right rib, strapped up Rominger's torso and ordered strict rest for three to four days but said he could resume training after that.