Giro d’Italia 2012: Four wildcards named, three having strong Italian connections
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Giro d’Italia 2012: Four wildcards named, three having strong Italian connections

by Shane Stokes at 8:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
RCS Sport also allocates invites to Tirreno, Sanremo and Lombardia events

Giro dThe four wildcard teams for the 2012 Giro d’Italia have been announced by race organisers RCS Sport, with the anticipated global emphasis not appearing to win out over national connections.

Although initial indications from RCS Sport were that there could be a much wider-based spread of teams than in the past, three out of the four confirmed today are, to all intents and purposes, Italian setups. Androni Giocattoli is registered in Italy while Colnago – CSF Inox and Farnese Vini have Italian riders, sponsors and staff.

They are registered in Ireland and Britain respectively for tax reasons.

The fourth team selected is the German Net App squad, which had been heavily tipped in recent days.

RCS Sport CEO Giacomo Catano, general manager Michele Acquarone, RCS cycling technical manager Mauro Vegni, marketing manager Marco Gobbi Pansana, and La Gazzetta Dello Sport’s Pier Bergonzi considered the wildcard allocations and revealed their final decision today.

These teams will join the eighteen UCI ProTeam squads in making up the peloton for the Grand Tour.

RCS Sport had confirmed on January 1st that a total of fourteen out of the 22 UCI ProContinental teams were being considered for the Giro and its other three events.

Italian team Acqua & Sapone had been given a Giro wildcard last year but was passed over this time round. Its leader Stefano Garzelli won the King of the Mountains competition in 2011.

Also missing out on the Italian tour are the Chinese Champion System Cycling Team, Colombia-Coldeportes, Belgium’s Landbouwkrediet, Project 1T4I (Netherlands), RusVelo (Russia), Saur Soyasun and Team Europcar (France), Team Type 1 Sanofi (USA) and Irish-registered, Italian based Utelsinord Named.

While some of these teams will be disappointed not to get a place in the Giro d’Italia, some of them have been given places in other events.

Acqua & Sapone and Colombia Coldeportes join Colnago – CSF Inox and Farnese Vini in Tirreno-Adriacio, which runs from March 7th to 13th. Organisers were initially going to hand out just two places, but decided to double that allocation.

Seven teams of eight riders have been given a green light for Milan Sanremo on March 17th. The aforementioned four Tirreno teams will be joined by Project 1t4I, Team Type 1 – Sanofi and Utensilnord Named.

The final RCS Sport event, Il Lombardia, again includes those Tirreno teams plus Androni Giocattoli, Project 1t4I and Utensilnord Named.

Five teams missed out on invites to any of the races. These were Champion System , Landbouwkrediet, RusVelo plus the French duo of Saur Soyasun and Team Europcar.

Their only chance would appear to be if one of the other squads was excluded. Today’s confirmation came with one proviso: “RCS Sport reserves the right to revoke the invitation to those teams which may have any sports or ethical issues,” it stated, making it clear that the invites are not cast in stone.

Teams participating in RCS Sport events in 2012:

UCI Pro Team (invited by right):

AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (ESP)
FDJ – Big Mat (FRA)
Garmin – Cervelo (USA)
Greenedge Cycling Team (AUS)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre – ISD (ITA)
Liquigas – Cannondale (ITA)
Lotto Belisol Team (BEL)
Movistar Team (ESP)
Omega Pharma – Quickstep (BEL)
Rabobank Cycling Team (NED)
RAdioshack – Nissan (LUX)
SKY Procycling (GBR)
Team Saxo Bank (DEN)
Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team (NED)

UCI Professional Team (Wild Card):

Giro d’Italia (May 5th to 27th) 4 wild cards (9 riders each team):

Androni Giocattoli (ITA)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL)
Farnese Vini (GBR)
Team NetApp (Ger)

Tirreno – Adriatico (March 7th to 13th) 2 wild cards (8 riders):

Acqua & Sapone (ITA)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL)
Colombia – Coldeportes (COL)
Farnese Vini (GBR)

Milano – Sanremo (March 17th) 7 wild cards (8 riders):

Acqua & Sapone (ITA)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL)
Colombia – Coldeportes (COL)
Farnese Vini (GBR)
Project 1t4I (NED)
Team Type 1 – Sanofi (USA)
Utensilnord Named (IRL)

Il Lombardia (September 29th) 7 wild cards (8 riders):

Acqua & Sapone (ITA)
Androni Giocattoli (ITA)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL)
Colombia – Coldeportes (COL)
Farnese Vini (GBR)
Project 1t4I (NED)
Utensilnord Named (IRL)

Also see: VeloNation gallery of 2011 Giro d’Italia photos


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