ASO announces wildcard invitations for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ASO announces wildcard invitations for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège

by Ben Atkins at 12:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège , Flèche Wallonne
Belgian teams favoured for Ardennes Classics; French teams miss out; Team Type 1 invited to both

la fleche wallonneRace organiser ASO has announced the teams that have been invited to its two Ardennes Classics, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which will run on April 18th and 22nd respectively. Both races are part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, and so all eighteen ProTeams are automatically invited, but ASO has invited seven further Professional Continental teams to take the peloton up to the maximum of two hundred riders.

Unsurprisingly, since the races take place in Belgium, all three Belgian ProConti teams - Verandas, Landbouwkrediet, and Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator - have been invited to both. What is perhaps more surprising though, since ASO is French, is that only one French team has been invited to the two races.

Saur-Sojasun is the lucky team, which has been granted a wildcard to both Flèche and Liège, while Europcar gets an invitation to Liège only, with Colombia-Deportes taking its place in La Flèche; France’s other two ProConti teams - Cofidis and Bretagne-Schuller - have both missed out entirely.

Project 1t4i, which has missed out on so many big invitations in the past, is the fourth team which has been invited to both races, confirming its status as one of the biggest in the Professional Continental division. The fifth is Team Type 1-Sanofi; the American team, which rides to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, and features a number of riders that suffer with the condition, is finding itself popular with race organisers this year and will ride both Ardennes Classics for the first time.

Both races were won by Philippe Gilbert (then Omega Pharma-Lotto, now BMC Racing) as he went to become only the second rider in history to take the Ardennes triple, with his earlier victory in the Amstel Gold Race.

AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
FDJ-BigMat (Fra)
Garmin-Barracuda (USA)
GreenEDGE Cycling Team (Aus)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre-ISD (Ita)
Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita)
Lotto-Belisol (Bel)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Bel)
Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned)
RadioShack-Nissan (Lux)
Sky Pro Cycling (GBr)
Team Saxo Bank (Den)
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)

Wildcard teams for La Flèche Wallonne (WT) April 18th Verandas (Bel)
Colombia-Coldeportes (Col)
Landbouwkrediet (Bel)
Project 1t4i (Ned)
Saur-Sojasun (Fra)
Team Type 1-Sanofi (USA)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (Bel)

Wildcard teams for Liège-Bastogne-Liège (WT) April 22nd Verandas (Bel)
Landbouwkrediet (Bel)
Project 1t4i (Ned)
Saur-Sojasun (Fra)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Team Type 1-Sanofi (USA)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (Bel)


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