Amstel Gold Race awards final four wildcards for 2013 race
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Friday, March 08, 2013

Amstel Gold Race awards final four wildcards for 2013 race

by Ben Atkins at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race
 
Crelan-Euphony, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, IAM Cycling, and Europcar get the nod for Dutch Classic

amstel gold raceThe organisers of the Amstel Gold Race have announced the names of the teams that have been awarded the final four wildcards for this year’s race. Two of what was originally to have been six invitations were handed out in February, with NetApp-Endura and Katusha named by the race organiser. Since then, however, Katusha’s appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has been upheld, and the Russian team has been awarded ProTeam status, and so will automatically start the WorldTour race anyway.

Thankfully, with Katusha invited to the race anyway, its late inclusion into the WorldTour has not affected the Amstel Gold Race; unlike the Ronde van Vlaanderen which, in order to keep the promises made to seven Professional Continental teams, will have a 208-strong peloton this year.

With no Dutch Professional Continental teams [all three of the Netherlands biggest teams - Argos-Shimano, Blanco Pro Cycling, and Vacansoleil-DCM - now have WorldTour status - ed] there are no local teams to invite to the Amstel Gold Race, but two of the four remaining invitations have been awarded to teams from neighbouring Belgium.

Crelan-Euphony and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise are the lucky ones that have now received invites to all of the WorldTour Classics of the north, with the exception of Paris-Roubaix.

Also invited is new Swiss team IAM Cycling, which has also been smiled upon by many WorldTour race organisers - and is currently racing in Paris-Nice - has also been invited to the Amstel Gold Race, while the final place has been awarded to French team Europcar.

The 2013 edition of the Amstel Gold Race will be run on Sunday, April 14th; starting from the Market Square in Limburg’s regional capital Maastricht, the race will cover 251km, taking in 34 climbs, and finish in the town of Valkenburg. In a change from previous editions, the finish line has been moved from the top of the Cauberg to the same spot where the 2012 World championship races finished.

Amstel Gold Race (WT) April 14th 2013

Invited Teams

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

Professional Continental Teams (wildcards)
Crelan – Euphony (Bel)
IAM Cycling (Sui)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise (Bel)

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