RCS Sport announces 17 invited teams for Strade Bianche
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

RCS Sport announces 17 invited teams for Strade Bianche

by Ben Atkins at 9:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
 
Biggest peloton ever for Tuscan gravel race; Giro del Lazio returns in Italian Classic weekend

strade biancheRace organiser RCS Sport has announced the names of the 17 teams that have been invited to the Strade Bianche race on Saturday March 2nd. The seventh edition of the race, which crosses the ancient gravel ‘white roads’ of the Italian region of Tuscany has already achieved something of a ‘Classic’ status, and this is reflected in the increased size of this year’s peloton.

The invitation of 17 teams is an increase of three on the 14 that rode last year’s race; the number of first division ProTeams has also increase, with 11 riding this year, compared to seven last time. With the usual eight riders per team, there will be a maximum of 136 riders lining up at the start in the town of Gaiole in Chianti, as opposed to the 112 of 2012.

The first edition of the Strade Bianche was held in October 2007, where it was held alongside the Erioca Gran Fondo from which it was inspired. In 2008, however, it was move to its current position in early March where it has already established itself in the early season Classics calendar. The 2011 edition was won by current World champion Philippe Gilbert as he headed towards his all-conquering Ardenne campaign, while last year’s race was taken by Swiss powerhouse Fabian Cancellara, taking his second victory in Siena’s iconic Piazza del Campo.

The teams invited mean that, potentially, all five of the race’s previous winners could be on the startline on March 2nd, with Katusha (Alexandr Kolobnev, 2007), RadioShack-Leopard (Cancellara, 2008 & 2012), IAM Cycling (Thomas Löfkvist, 2009), Astana (Maxim Iglinskiy, 2010) and BMC Racing (Gilbert, 2011) all on the list.

In addition to the Strade Bianche race, RCS Sport is also resurrecting the Giro del Lazio, which has not been run since 2008. The race, which traditionally finished in the centre of Rome’s old city, taking in the cobblestones of the Via Appia, will take place on Sunday, March 3rd. This, RCS Sport hopes, will create a weekend of tough races, which both feature some of Italy’s most famous and spectacular landscapes and landmarks.

The race was traditionally held in late September, before moving to early August in the mid 2000’s, although the final edition was run in early October. That 2008 race was won by Italian Francesco Masciarelli, who retired in the middle of last season, through health problems, aged just 26.

A total of 16 teams have been invited to the race which, like the Strade Bianche, rejoins the calendar with a 1.1 status. The list of teams is equally divided between ProTeams and Professional Continental, with eight of each, making a maximum peloton of 128.

More details on the Giro del Lazio’s return will be announced in Rome soon.

Teams invited to the Strade Bianche (March 2nd)

UCI ProTeams
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
Blanco Pro Cycling (Ned)
BMC Racing Team (Swi)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita)
Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Movistar Team (Spa)
RadioShack-Leopard (Lux)
Team Argos-Shimano (Ned)
Vacansoleil-DCM (Ned)

Professional Continental teams
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita)
Crelan-Euphony (Bel)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Katusha (Rus)
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Ita)

Teams invited to the Giro del Lazio (March 3rd)

UCI ProTeams
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (Swi)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Team Argos-Shimano (Ned)
Vacansoleil-DCM (Ned)

Professional Continental teams
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita)
Colombia (Col)
Caja Rural (Spa)
Crelan-Euphony (Bel)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Katusha (Rus)
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Ita)

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