This year, the US-American Team Rally Cycling (RLY) and the French team Total Direct Energie (TDE) will benefit from the highly sought-after wildcards.
For this year’s 84th edition of the Tour de Suisse, the two wildcards are to be awarded to UCI ProTeams.
According to the new UCI regulations, in addition to the 19 seeded teams of the UCI WorldTour, the best-placed team of the UCI ProTeam Series will also qualify for the big stage races.
Thanks to this rule change, the Belgian team Alpecin-Fenix (AFC) will also participate at the Tour. As a result, 22 teams of 7 riders each will compete in the Tour de Suisse this summer.
The US team – easily identifiable by its orange jerseys – participated in the last edition of the Tour de Suisse 2019 thanks to a wildcard.
The team is sponsored by UnitedHealth Group, the world’s largest provider in the health sector.
In addition to the men’s team, Rally Cycling also has an elite women’s team.
With the exception of the young Dutchman Arvid de Kleijn, the team currently consists exclusively of riders from the USA and Canada.
One of the most noticeable is Robin Carpenter, a specialist in breakaways.
The ambitious team has recruited reinforcements in Nate Brown, Ben King and Joey Rosskopf with years of professional experience at the highest level of racing. Nate Brown enters his second year with Rally Cycling having spent six years riding for the American team EF-Education First, including at the Tour de Suisse in 2019. Ben King – a two-time stage winner at the Vuelta – has spent the last few years riding for South African team Dimension Data. Two-time US time trial champion Joey Rosskopf comes from Team CCC (ex BMC).
“The Tour de Suisse is one of the most beautiful, challenging and well-run races in the world. We take the invitation very seriously and have built our season around the race,” explains Jonas Carney, Performance Director of the US
Rally Cycling Team.
Total Direct Energie
he French team, which used to compete under the Europcar banner, is already in its 21st season since its formation in 2000.
Last season, as the best-placed team in the UCI ProTeam Series, the French team even had the privilege of competing in all the major races of the WorldTour.
As in the previous two editions of the Tour de Suisse, the French Pro-Continental team Total Direct Energie will start in this year’s race with a wildcard.
The French team has been able to bolster itself for the new season with several top level cyclists. As well as French climbers and ex-AG2R riders Alexandre Geniex (3x stage winner at the Vuelta) and Pierre Latour (stage winner at the Vuelta), the Norwegian Tour de France stage winner (3x) Edvald Boasson Hagen and Spaniard Victor de la Parte will also be riding for Total Direct Energie.
The French team will strive to win a stage with their choice of climbers and classic specialists and will certainly make their mark on the Tour de Suisse this year as well.
More about Team Total Direct Energie.