SCHWARZENBURG, Switzerland (AP) — Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team complained of unfair treatment Monday after being refused an invitation to take part in the Spanish Vuelta.
The Vuelta organizers announced the 22 teams that will compete in this year’s race. Sixteen teams were preselected under an agreement between race organizers and the International Cycling Union (UCI), including Astana, Quick Step and Euskaltel-Euskadi. Another six received invitations: Andalucia-Cajasur, Xacobeo-Galicia, Cervelo TestTeam, Team Sky, Katusha and Garmin-Transitions.
RadioShack was the most prominent absentee as was another American squad BMC.
“They told us we were not selected because other teams were better in their eyes. We are not happy about it,” team spokesman Philippe Maertens said. “If you’re not invited to a party, you cannot go to court to say ‘Hey, I want to be at that party.’ It’s not fair, it’s not logical… That’s life.”
Armstrong and RadioShack are currently competing in the Tour of Switzerland.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong was not expected to be available to compete in the Aug. 28-Sept. 19 Vuelta because he will be attempting to win the French race again this year. But other teammates would have competed in Spain.
The RadioShack team also includes 2010 Dauphine winner Janez Brajkovic, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloden.
The Vuelta is considered among the world’s top three multi-stage races, along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.