The Tour de Suisse once again awards three Wildcards
The organisers of the 84th edition of the Tour de Suisse are awarding two wildcards to UCI ProTeams as well as renewing the selection of the Swiss Cycling team.
According to the latest UCI regulations, the 19 seeded teams of the UCI WorldTour and the best placed team of the UCI ProTeams Series automatically qualify for the big stage races.
Due to this change in the rules, the French team Total Direct Energie (TDE) qualifies for the Tour. Due to a wildcard the French team competed at the TdS 2019.
Therefore, this summer 23 teams of 7 riders each will compete in the Tour de Suisse.
The American team - easily identifiable in their orange jerseys - already competed in the Tour de Suisse last year with a wildcard.
The team is sponsored by UnitedHealth Group, the world's largest provider in the healthcare sector.
In addition to the men's team, Rally Cycling also has an elite women's team.
The team currently consists exclusively of cyclists from the USA and Canada.
One of the most prominent riders is Robin Carpenter, a specialist in breakaways.
In Nate Brown, the ambitious team has also gained reinforcement with years of professional experience at the highest racing level. The American has been riding for the American team EF-Education First for the last few years, and for which he competed at last year's Tour de Suisse.
"The Tour de Suisse is one of the most beautiful, challenging, and well-run races in the world. We take their invitation very seriously and have built our season around the race to ensure we perform at our top level”, explained Jonas Carney, Performance Director of the US Rally Cycling Team.
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The French team is entering its 10th season and, thanks to the wildcard, will be competing in the Tour de Suisse for the first time.
Despite being a French team, it boasts a very international group of riders, including a few familiar faces. Two years ago, José Goncalves - then riding for Team Katusha Alpecin - competed in the Tour de Suisse and finished in the top 10 on the stage to Gstaad.
Another rider with a name to remember is Ramunas Navardauskas from Lithuania. He rode in the highest level of cycling for 8 seasons and in that time won stages in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.
Once again, this summer the Tour de Suisse will be a showcase for young Swiss athletes who are yet to transition to a top team.
The debut of the Swiss Cycling team last year at the Tour de Suisse can be considered a success. The national team athletes impressed spectators with their competitive riding style, and some of them managed to secure a place in a World Tour team - not least thanks to a strong performance at the TdS 2019.
"It was great to see what the Swiss national team was able to achieve during the Tour de Suisse. The young Swiss animated the race every day and presented the national team's jersey in its best light.
I'm sure we can look forward to a strong performance in 2020 as well". David Loosli, sporting director of the Tour de Suisse, said confidently.
It is likely that the team will once again consist of a mixture of talented U23 athletes and younger elite riders who are yet to secure a place in cycling's top ranks.