• Guillaume Martin at the 2017 Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
Tour de France organisers today announced the 22 teams to compete in the 7-29 July race.
By
Cycling Central

9 Jan 2018 - 12:18 PM  UPDATED 9 Jan 2018 - 12:19 PM

The 18 WorldTour teams are automatic inclusions so the remaining positions are highly sought after, particularly by the French ProContinental squads whose entire seasons are riding on an invite.

There were no surprises for 2018 with Cofidis (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA), Fortuneo-Samsic (FRA), and Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL) taking the start line as they did in 2017.

Missing out was Vital Concept who brought star French sprinter Bryan Coquard on board during the transfer season in hopes of securing an invite.

After its first Tour appearance in 2017, where it raced with nine riders also on a Tour debut, Wanty-Group Gobert said the selection brought "peace and satisfaction".

The team impressed with its active riding in breakaways which netted Yoann Offredo and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck stage combativity prizes and a 23rd place overall for Guillaume Martin.

"After I finished 23rd in 2017 I have the ambition to do better in 2018," Martin said. "But I am not yet sure If I will focus for 100 per cent on the general classification.

"I might search some more freedom and thus try to chase a stage victory. In this way, I also can achieve something big."

WorldTour Teams
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA), Astana (KAZ). Bahrain-Merida (BRN), BMC (USA), Bora-Hansgrohe (GER), FDJ (FRA), Lotto Soudal (BEL), Mitchelton-Scott (AUS), Movistar (ESP), Quick-Step Floors (BEL), Dimension Data (RSA), EF Education First-Drapac P/B Cannondale (USA), Katusha-Alpecin (SUI), LottoNL-Jumbo (NED), Sky (GBR), Sunweb (GER), Trek-Segafredo (USA), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

ProContinental Teams
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA), Fortuneo-Samsic (FRA), Wanty-Groupe Gobert (BEL)