André Greipel to ride 2019 Tour de France as final wildcard places announced

The German sprinter has stepped down from the WorldTour but will still get his chance on the biggest stage

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

André Greipel will have his chance at the 2019 Tour de France after his new team were invited to race as a wildcard.

The German sprinter stepped down from the WorldTour to join French outfit Arkéa-Samsic at the end of last season.

Tour organisers ASO have now revealed the final two teams being given wildcard entries – Arkéa-Samsic and Direct Energie.

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The two French teams will join Cofidis and Wanty-Groupe Gobert to make up the four second-tier teams racing the biggest Grand Tour of the year.

Competition between Professional Continental teams for Tour places was tough this year, with the French outfits all bolstering their line-ups to be awarded a coveted spot.

Alongside Greipel’s move to Arkéa-Samsic, Direct Energie signed double Monument winner Niki Terpstra from Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Pierre Rolland, a two-time Tour stage winner and top-10 overall finisher, also moved to Vital Concept-B&B Hotels for 2019 from EF Education First.

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But the Frenchman will not be given the chance to repeat his previous glories as Vital Concept have missed out on a place.

Sprinter Bryan Coquard is another Vital Concept rider who will be disappointed to miss out on a spot, having last rode the Tour in 2016 and coming second and third in bunch sprints.

Arkéa-Samsic are also expected to take Warren Barguil to the Tour, after his two stage wins and King of the Mountain title from 2017.

The French rider appeared to have a breakthrough year with Sunweb, but has failed to take a win since moving to Arkéa-Samsic last season.

Alongside Classics specialist Terpstra, Direct Energie also count 2017 stage winner Lilian Calmejane among their number.

Full list of teams riding 2019 Tour de France

Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)

Astana (Kaz)

Bahrain-Merida (Brn)

Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger)

CCC Team (Pol)

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)

Deceuninck - Quick-Step (Bel)

Direct Energie (Fra)

EF Education First (USA)

Groupama-FDJ (Fra)

Lotto-Soudal (Bel)

Movistar (Esp)

Mitchelton-Scott (Aus)

Arkéa-Samsic (Fra)

Dimension Data (RSA)

Jumbo-Visma (Ned)

Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)

Team Sky (GBr)

Sunweb (Ger)

Trek-Segafredo (USA)

UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

Wanty-GroupeGobert (Bel)