Flanders Classics confirms 26 teams invited to Ronde van Vlaanderen
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flanders Classics confirms 26 teams invited to Ronde van Vlaanderen

by Ben Atkins at 7:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
Peloton of 208 riders to start after Katusha gains WorldTour status

tom boonenFlanders Classics, the organiser of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, has confirmed that there will be be 26 teams on the race’s start line in Brugge, on March 31st, which will be one more than usual. The decision of the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) to award Russian team Katusha its place in the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour means that there are 19 ProTeams for 2013, but Flanders Classics has kept to the promise that it previously made to seven Professional Continental teams.

The presence of one more team than usual in Vlaanderens Mooiste means that the peloton will number 208 riders this year, which is eight more than the limit imposed by UCI regulations.

Following the example of ASO - in the  invitations to its Belgian Classics la Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège - Flanders Classics has invited all three Belgian Professional Continental teams, in Accent.Jobs-Wanty, Crelan-Euphony, and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

The French Team Europcar, whose leader Thomas Voeckler finished eighth in last years edition of the Ronde [and also won the Flanders Classics organised Brabantse Pijl the following week - ed] has taken the fourth invitation, while Italian team Vini Fantini-Selle Italia has been awarded the fifth. As Farnese Vini-Selle Italia last year, the giallo fluo team was home to second place Filippo Pozzato but, while the former Italian champion has moved to Lampre-Merida this season, the team still boasts riders like ever-aggressive Belgian Kevin Hulsmans.

The final two invitations have been awarded to German team NetApp-Endure - which rode last years edition as Team NetApp - and Swiss team IAM Cycling, which includes former Flanders runner-up Heinrich Haussler in its strong Classics line up.

The centenary edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen - which will be its 97th running - will follow a similar course to 2012, which saw the third victory of Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). It will once again take in three decreasing laps of circuits based on the climbs of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, before finishing in the town of Oudenaarde.

Teams for 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen (WT)

19 ProTeams (automatically invited)
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
Blanco Pro Cycling (Ned)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
FDJ (Fra)
Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Lotto-Belisol (Bel)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Bel)
Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)
RadioShack-Leopard (Lux)
Sky Procycling (GBr)
Team Argos-Shimano (Ned)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff (Den)
Vacansoleil-DCM (Ned)

7 Professional Continental Teams (wildcards)
Accent.Jobs-Wanty (Bel)
Crelan-Euphony (Bel)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia (Ita)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)
IAM Cycling (Swi)


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