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Tour de France says ‘no’ to national teams

PARIS: Organizers of the Tour de France on Thursday rejected a French cycling federation (FFC) proposal to allow national teams to compete in the sport’s most prestigious race.
The director of Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), Christian Prudhomme, said he was in favor of the current system in place since the end of the 1960s, in which sponsored teams participate in the annual event.
On Wednesday, the head of the FFC, David Lappartient, put forward plans for a return of national teams as part of what he called a “revolutionary project” for the legendary competition, which has its 100th edition this year.
“I’ll say it again, we’re fond of our sponsored teams,” said Prudhomme. “There are now some sponsored teams that resemble national ones. For me, a return to national teams is a bit of an old chestnut.
“It was great but I’m not convinced that it’s a solution for the future.