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Two weeks ago Discovery Channel was America?s biggest team but even an eighth Tour de France victory in nine years failed to attract a new sponsor. The media company announced earlier this year that, after three seasons, it would be pulling out. Since then Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong have scoured the world looking for a replacement, in vain.

Now, Slipstream Sports, a team that has been steadily growing over the past three years, is set to find itself as the number one American team. But Jonathan Vaughters, the former US Postal Service and Crédit Agricole rider who is the company?s chief executive officer as well as its directeur sportif, says it is unlikely Slipstream will apply for the vacant American ProTour licence.

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