Speculation that American squad Slipstream is all but guaranteed a place in next year?s Tour de France mounted when Jonathan Vaughters dined with officials from ASO in Paris last night (Tuesday).

The Slipstream directeur sportif has been in the French capital this week for the World Anti-Doping Agency?s summit and the unveiling of the Tour route.

Although the American would not comment on speculation, rumours are rife that it?s a done deal that David Millar, David Zabriskie, Magnus Backstedt and their Argyle jerseys will be on the start line in Brest next July.

Meanwhile, there are growing whispers that Astana?s place in the Tour de France may not be as certain – despite signing the defending champion, Alberto Contador.

Tour 2008: The world awaits
Team Slipstream announce 2008 roster
The Big Interview: Jonathan Vaughters

Team Slipstream-Chipotle: www.slipstreamsports.com.
Tour de France: www.letour.com.