Final Tour Teams List22 teams with 198 riders will start. Asics (with Claudio Chiappucci) will miss the Tour de France. This team is the reserve.
The wild cards go to:
Lotto-Mobistar (Belgium) Kelme-Costa Blanca (Spain) Mercatone Uno (Italy) US Postal Service (USA) La Mutuelle de Seine (France) Big Mat - Aubervilliers 93 (France)
The other teams are:
Telekom Mapei GB Polti Batik-Del Monte Banesto Casino Cofidis Roslotto-ZG Mobili Maglificio MG Saeco ONCE GAN Les Frangaise des Jeux Festina Rabobank TVM
Why 2 small French teams?The organization of the Tour de France 1997 choose for two little French teams so they can bring more than 40 French riders at the start.
GAN Team for Tour de FranceGAN directeur sportif has named eight of the nine-man GAN team for next month's Tour de France. The eight are Chris Boardman, Frederic Moncassin, Gerard Rue, Francois Simon, Cedric Vasseur, Eros Poli, Stuart O'Grady and Henk Vogels. The ninth team member will be named after the French national championship road race at Montlhery on June 29 and will be chosen from Francois Lemarchand, Arnaud Pretot, Francisque Teyssier and Scott Sunderland.
Jalabert to Ride Tour de SuisseLaurent Jalabert, who had a long-standing arrangement to ride the Tour of Catalonia (June 19--26) will instead be a surprise starter in the Tour of Switzerland, starting tomorrow (June 17) and finishing on June 26. Jalabert, who will accompany Alex Zulle to the prestigious and prize-rich Swiss national tour, made the decision after consulting ONCE directeur sportif Manolo Saiz on Saturday evening after finishing the Tour of Luxembourg in 20th place. "After a closer look at the profile of the Tour of Catalonia," said Jalabert, "I realised that it had few mountains and developed the idea of taking part in the Tour of Switzerland. I spoke to Manolo. He said to me: 'It's true. You want to go? No problem...'" Jalabert made no superfluous efforts in the Tour of Luxembourg, for example conceding 58 seconds to eventual overall winner Frank Vandenbroucke in the 16km stage 4 time trial, but nevertheless pronouncing himself "satisfied". The Tour of Switzerland will be Jalabert's last race before the Tour de France since he has decided not to ride the French national championships at Monthlery -- it will be on a flattish course and Jalabert would have been the only ONCE rider taking part.
Festina-team for Tour de France with two Team LeadersRichard Virenque (Fr) and Laurent Dufaux (Swi), the numbers 3 and 4 in the Tour de France of last year, are the teamleaders of Festina. Manager Bruno Roussel announced his team in Paris on Monday: Richard Virenque, Laurent Brochard, Pascal Hervi, Christophe Moreau, Didier Rous (Fra), Laurent Dufaux (Swi), Gianluca Bortolami (Ita), Joona Laukka (Fin) and Neil Stephens (Aus).
Pascal Richard not in Tour de FrancePascal Richard of Casino can't start in the Tour de France. On Monday he had a bottom-operation for an abces. That abces was the reason for his abandon in the Dauphine last week. Pascal hopes to be fit again in September for the worldchampionship on the road.
Dutch radio rumoursRumours (on Dutch radio this morning): Bruyneel injured; maybe Breukink to the Tour (while he said that 1996 was his 10th and last TdF).
Erembodegem-Terjoden (Belgium) Elite with Contract
1. Tony Bracke (Bel) 2. Brian Dalgaard (Den) 0.05 3. T. Lenaers (Bel) 4. S. Ivanov (Rus) 5. R. Assez (Bel) 6. O. Pankov (Oek) 7. P. Spaenhoven (Bel) 8. J. Vanfrachem (Bel)
Lefevere expects criticismPatrick Lefevere expects criticism from Italian side about his decision to send Frank Vandenbroucke (22) to the Tour de France. In Italy team leaders say an age of 26 or 27 is even a little bit young for the Tour. Lefevere: "Criquileion remembered me about his first Tour de France. he was 22 too and became 9th".
Lefevere said Vandenbroucke has to ride in function of the team. Frank: "I go to the Tour for learning a lot. Of course i can't go with the best riders in the mountains. I will be satisfied when i reach Paris with one stage-victory".
Belgium candidate for Worlds in 2002Beersel in Belgium is a candidate for the world championship on the road in 2002. Mayor Hugo Casaer has given his candidate-ship to the Belgium Cycling Union. The decision will be announced about 2002 on July 3.