RCS Sport confirms wildcards for 2013 Giro d’Italia and other WorldTour races
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

RCS Sport confirms wildcards for 2013 Giro d’Italia and other WorldTour races

by Ben Atkins at 9:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Spring Classics, Giro di Lombardia, Milan-Sanremo, Tirreno-Adriatico
 
Katusha “judged as” ProConti team and misses Giro; consolation offered with other races

matteo rabottiniRCS Sport has confirmed the identities of the teams to be allocated wildcard invitations to this year’s Giro d’Italia, and its other WorldTour races, with Katusha missing out on the first Grand Tour of the year. With Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela automatically qualifying thanks to its victory in the 2012 Coppa Italia, the three other places - alongside the 18 WorldTour teams - have been granted to Italian teams Bardiani-CSF Inox and Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, along with South American Team Colombia.

Three of the four wildcards are identical to those of 2012, with Team Colombia taking the place of a doubtlessly disappointed NetApp-Endura. With Argos-Shimano taking the place of Katusha in the WorldTour there will be two new teams in this year’s race.

The inclusion of Bardiani-CSF Inox - which rode as Colnago-CSF Inox last year - marks a continuous string of appearances at the Corsa Rosa since Roberto Reverberi formed the team in 1982; the team has only missed the 2009 race in that time, after a number of riders were disqualified for doping the previous year. The team is packed full of young Italian riders, despite the departure of 2012 stage winner Domenico Pozzovivo, and is certain to be aggressive.

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia will be equally guaranteed to be aggressive with its equally Italian roster. Matteo Rabottini (pictured) provided the race with one of its most dramatic moments, as he took the stage on the Pian dei Resinelli, while Andrea Guardini - who has since left the team - came of age with a sprint stage victory.

Despite its all-Colombian line up, Team Colombia as a distinctly Italian management team, led by 1977 World champion Claudio Corti. The team’s young riders are eager to take the European peloton by storm, as their predecessors did in decades past.

With its WorldTour status currently subject to an appeal at the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS), “Russian Team Katusha’s position has been judged as it stands today - a Professional Continental Team,” according to a statement from RCS Sport. Despite the fact that it is currently home to 2012 runner-up and World number one Joaquim Rodríguez [although he is rumoured to be negotiating elsewhere - ed], weighed up against the other applicants - and particularly with Rodríguez’ stated aim to target the Tour de France - the team was evidently not as good - and, notably, not as Italian - as those selected.

Most of those teams missing out on the main event in May have been offered the compensation of an invitation to one or more of RCS Sport’s other WorldTour races. Katusha is invited to all three of Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and il Lombardia, while NetApp-Endura also gets to ride Tirreno and Lombardia.

MTN-Qhubeka, which voluntarily withdrew from the race for a place in the Giro, has had its patience rewarded, and is confirmed in both Tirreno and Milano-Sanremo; new Swiss team IAM Cycling and Team Europcar both get invitations to Sanremo and Lombardia.

Of those afforded Giro wildcards, Vini Fantini also receives invitations to all three other races; Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela gets to ride Milano-Sanremo and il Lombardia, while Bardiani-CSF Inox and Colombia are invited to Sanremo and Lombardia respectively.

Missing out entirely are French team Sojasun - whose focus of the season is on securing another ride in the Tour de France - Spanish team Caja Rural - who will be similarly targeting the Vuelta a España - and American Team Novo Nordisk. As Team Type 1-Sanofi, Novo Nordisk rode Milano-Sanremo last year but, with an almost complete change to a totally diabetic roster, has shed most of its experience over the close season.

UCI ProTeam (invited by right, and required to attend)
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale (Ita)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
FDJ (Fra)
Former Rabobank [Blanco Pro Cycling - ed] (NED)
Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Lotto-Belisol (Bel)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Team (Bel)
Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)
RadioShack-Nissan (Lux)
Sky Procycling (GBr)
Team Argos-Shimano (Ned)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff (Den)
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
 
UCI Professional Continental Team (Wild Cards)
 
GIRO D’ITALIA (May 4-26) 4 wild cards (9 riders each)
Androni Giocattoli (Ita) – Automatic right to participate as winner of the Coppa Italia 2012
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita)
Colombia (Col)
Vini Fantini (Ita)
 
TIRRENO – ADRIATICO (March 6-12) 4 wild cards (8 riders)
Katusha (Rus)
MTN-Qhubeka (RSA)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)
Vini Fantini (Ita)
 
MILANO – SANREMO (March 17) 7 wild cards (8 riders)
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Katusha (Rus)
MTN-Qhubeka (RSA)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Vini Fantini (Ita)
 
IL LOMBARDIA (October 6) 7 wild cards (8 riders)
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Colombia (Col)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Katusha (Rus)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)
Vini Fantini (Ita)

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