No, not Chirac and Bush, they're best of friends again, Leblanc and Sinyard. Despite the founder of Specialized pleading the case for a Tour de France wildcard inclusion for world champion sprinter Mario Cipollini, the Tour organiser has definitively ruled out the Italian (but allowed the entry of a German and his new Italian team, and a bunch of no-hoper French teams)

Frenchman rebuffs American

The Specialized-riding Domina Vacanze team will not be at this year’s Tour de France. Once again, Mario Cipollini is not being allowed to race.

This was confirmed late yesterday afternoon by the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organising company behind Le Tour.

"Concerning the possible entry of a 23rd team, ASO gave itself extra time to reflect upon all the events since May 19th. However, ASO has concluded that this decision, besides being contrary to the rules governing professional cycling, would have compromised security and the quality of the race organisation," said an ASO press statement.

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