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Irish team Aqua Blue Sport misses out on big race invites

Posted on: January 8th, 2018

Lots of invites to bag races were handed out today for later in the season, and despite its success last year Aqua Blue Sport were not on any of the lists.

 

Aqua Blue Sport misses out on Tour de France invite

 

Having attacked the Vuelta and won a stage, Aqua Blue Sport felt it had a great chance of a Tour de France invite this year.

However, when the wild card invites were unveiled today the Irish squad was not included.

The team also failed to secure at the other races run by ASO, which owns the Tour.

ASO today unveiled the four ProContinental teams that will join the WorldTour outfits at the Tour in July.

And it also confirmed the wild card entries for Paris Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

WorldTour teams are automatically included in the races. But ProContinental outfits are dependent on wild card invites.

Aqua Blue Sport secured an invite to the Vuelta last year. And last September it became the first ever Irish team to start a Grand Tour.

Its riders did very well during the race; attacking, fighting it out in the sprints and winning a fantastic stage.

Stefan Denifl won the mountainous stage 18; now somewhat infamous for Chris Froome’s adverse dope test result.

Against the backdrop of that success in the Vuelta, hopes were very high in the Aqua Blue Sport camp of a Tour invite.

Instead, French and Belgian teams were invited; Direct Energie, Fortuneo-Samsic, Cofidis and Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

In Paris Nice, the four invited teams are: Delko-Marseille, Cofidis, Direct Energie and Fortuneo-Samsic.

And at Critérium du Dauphiné Vital Concept gets the nod along with Cofidis, Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Fortuneo-Samsic.

 

Aqua Blue Sport ready to rumble

The team gets its season underway on January 25th at Race Melbourne, won by Sam Bennett last year.

It then takes in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race three days later. That will be a tough test against WorldTour opposition.

The Jayco Herald Sun Tour is next, from January 31st to February 4th.

After its stint in Australia it then rides the Dubai Tour from February 6th to 10th. Staying in the Middle East, it also rides the Tour of Oman from February 13th to 18th.

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