Today, Tour de France organizer ASO, announced the four wild cards for the race. Cofidis, Direct Energie, Fortuneo – Vital Concept and Bora – Argon 18 will join the 18 WorldTour squads lining up for Le Grand Shindig on July 2nd.
The surprising omission? The Continental Lupus Racing outfit of former Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner. The 43 year old American was perplexed by the snub. “I’ve done top ten at the Tour. I was good in Utah last year and I’ve almost killed that virus in my lungs from two years ago,” said Horner. “Am I surprised? Yeah, I’m surprised.”
While the Lupus team has an ambitious race schedule that included the San Dimas and McClellan road races and Sunny King Criterium, there will be no trip to France. “Seriously, I don’t get it. I got some young guys on Lupus who could kick Argon’s ass,” said Horner. “I’m faster than everybody on Fortuneo with just one lung. I totally don’t understand what Prudhomme is thinking,” said Horner.
Which no invitation to the Tour of California in May, no invite for the Tour de France and the disappearance of the US Pro Cycling Challenge, Horner says Lupus Racing will refocus on different goals. “I guess we’ll just win the Tour of Qinghai Lake. It’s not the Tour but China is a big country,” said Horner. “There’s definitely some prestige there.”