Katusha and nine other teams fighting for three Giro wildcard slots, decision tomorrow
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Katusha and nine other teams fighting for three Giro wildcard slots, decision tomorrow

by Shane Stokes at 8:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
MTN Qhubeka backs down for now, accepts 2013 Giro would come too soon for team

Giro dStill waiting for the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing that it hopes will oblige the UCI to reverse the decision to refuse its WorldTour licence registration, the Katusha team has been listed as one of ten squads battling for three wildcard slots for the Giro d’Italia.

Race organisers RCS Sport are due to announce the lineup of the 2013 race tomorrow. With one of the four invitees already known due to Androni – Venezuela’s victory last year in the team ranking of the Italian Cup, the pressure is intense as regards who will get the nod.

The Giro d’Italia has confirmed the names of the ten teams still in the running. Apart from Katusha, which was a UCI ProTeam until the end of 2012 and which finished second in the WorldTour ranking in 2012 – and also had the world’s number one rider in Joaquim Rodriguez – the other teams being considered are Bardiani-CSF, Caja Rural, Colombia, Europcar, Vini Fantini, IAM Cycling, NetApp -Endura, Sojasun and Novo Nordisk Team.

The reason for Katusha’s WorldTour refusal are not clear, but unspecified ethical issues have been reported by some media as the cause.

Two teams which are no longer candidates for the 2013 Giro are the new African Pro Continental setup MTN-Qhubeka y and Crelan-Euphony.

Of those, MTN Qhubeka has communicated the reason why it is no longer on the list, saying that it came to an agreement with RCS Sport that the 2013 race would likely be too soon for the team.

“We've been receiving a lot of queries as to why our name is no longer on the list for eligible wildcard entries to the 2013 Giro d'Italia,” said MTN Qhubeka team principal Douglas Ryder. “We've been in close communication with the race organiser, RCS Sport. As much as we love the Giro and it is definitely our dream to take our riders to the race, we feel that it may come too early in our first year as a Professional Continental team.”

Ryder remains in contact with the organisers, though, and is chasing participation in other races run by them.

“Our early season hope is to be invited to RCS races, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan San Remo. This would suit us better as our experienced riders who've done these races before would mentor our younger riders.”

Longer term, the team wants to be a WorldTour squad. Before then, it hopes to line out in the Giro through a wildcard, and will continue building towards that target. “Our goal remains to steadily develop and progress with our riders as we have done the last four years,” Ryder said. “When we finally line up for the Corsa Rosa, we'd like to be as competitive as possible.”


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