Cyclingnews has a short article on the 2010 Tour and how it will be difficult to get an invitation to the tour. The article quotes Christian Prudhomme stating new teams like Radio Shack, Sky, and the new line-up at BMC making it a difficult decision to choose among qualified teams.
What confused me was the discussion of the ProTour. The article says that there are 16 teams guaranteed an entry into the tour because of the ProTour. It then says:
Squads not given an automatic berth include Radio Shack, Team Sky, BMC Racing, Vacansoleil, Saur Sojasun, Katyusha, Garmin-Transitions, Cervélo and Skil-Shimano.
I don't understand why Radio Shack, Sky, Katyusha, and Garmin are not guaranteed entry into the Tour if they are in the ProTour. Even if only the top 16 teams from the previous year are guaranteed entry into the Tour, Katyusha ended the year 10th and Garmin 11th in the team rankings.
In the article Prudhomme indicates they will invite 20 to 22 teams. If anyone can shed some light on the automatic entries that would be helpful - of course, helpful to begin the speculation of who will get invited to the Tour and who will not.