* Sastre and Menchov to miss Tour
* Geox-TMC fail to get wildcard (Adds details, byline)
Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov will not ride in this year's Tour de France after organisers said on Thursday that their team Geox-TMC had missed out on selection. In compliance with International Cycling Union (UCI) rules, the 18 ProTeams automatically qualified for the race to leave just four spots for Pro Continental teams (second division). Organisers chose to hand wildcards to French outfits Cofidis, Europcar, Francaise des Jeux and Saur-Sojasun, rather than Geox-TMC, the Spanish team of 2008 Tour winner Sastre and Menchov who finished third in last year's race.
The team was denied a ProTeam licence last November and is now racing under a Pro Continental licence, so requiring invitations from organisers to compete in flagship events such as the Tour de France and the Vuelta.
This year's race is also unlikely to involve three-times champion Alberto Contador who is provisionally suspended after failing a dope test.
Twice runner-up Andy Schleck of the Leopard-Trek team is likely to start as hot favourite. The 98th Tour starts in Vendee and runs from July 2-24.
2011 Tour de France teams:
ProTeams: Omega Pharma-Lotto (Belgium), Quickstep (Belgium), Saxo Bank Sungard (Denmark), Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spain), Movistar (Spain), Ag2r La Mondiale (France), Sky Procycling (Britain), Lampre-Isd (Italy), Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy), Pro Team Astana (Kazakhstan), Team Leopard-Trek (Luxembourg), Rabobank (Netherlands), Vacansoleil-DCM (Netherlands), Katusha (Russia), BMC Racing team (USA), HTC-Highroad (USA), Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA), Radioshack (USA)
Wildcards: Cofidis (France), Europcar (France), Francaise des Jeux (France), Saur-Sojasun (France)
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