It was good to see Slipstream-Chipotle get a tour invite.
I’m still dumfounded that Asatana, with new riders and new management, is being punished for team’s history. But yet, Rabobank, will be back. The team that was disgraced last year because their team leader was removed from the Tour while leading.
Slipstream-Chipotle gets a Tour invite
Posted Mar. 20, 2008
Slipstream, truly powered by Chipotle
Photo: Graham Watson
Tour de France organiser ASO on Thursday named the 20 teams it has selected for this year’s race.
The line-up includes the American team Slipstream-Chipotle.
Team director Jonathan Vaughters said the invitation was a relief.
“I found out about 5 minutes ago,” Vaughters told VeloNews Thursday morning.
“I feel relieved after all the work we put in. We proved we are one of the better teams in the world right from the start all the way through Tirreno, but we had a mediocre Paris-Nice, of all the friggin’ races to have go sideways on us!! So of course that worried me a bit. But anyway, the bigger picture has been A+ work for a new team, so I’m glad ASO agreed with that. Off we go.”
“We present a good image. We’re a good-looking, well-organized team. We race aggressively. We don’t always win everything, but we’re always in the hunt,” he said.
When asked if the invitation was a mandate on the team’s high-profile ethics of clean racing, Vaughters cautioned that Slipstream isn’t the only clean team in the peloton.
“I honestly believe there are a lot of teams who have followed suit and I believe the majority of teams are doing that,” he said. “There are lots of clean teams out there, we just happen to generate more media buzz because we just happen to be on the front end of that because we started a year ago with a lot of young riders.”
Vaughters said he’s working through a long list of riders for the Tour, but said such veterans as David Millar, Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie are sure to start.
The Tour line-up comprises all teams holding a ProTour licence, with the exception of the Kazakh-backed, Swiss-based Astana team, ASO said.
ASO ruled in February that reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and his Astana team would be barred from competing in this year’s race as a result of doping scandals over the past two years.
Slipstream is one of three Continental Professional teams invited. The others are Agritubel (FRA) and Great Britain’s Barloworld.
— VeloNews’ Ben Delaney and Andrew Hood contributed to this report, along with Agence France Presse —