Giro d’Italia confirms Katusha as 23rd team for May’s race
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Giro d’Italia confirms Katusha as 23rd team for May’s race

by Ben Atkins at 10:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
UCI passes exemption for peloton of more than 200 after Russian team’s CAS appeal

joaquim rodriguezRCS Sport, the organiser of the Giro d’Italia, has confirmed that Katusha will be officially be the 23rd team to line up at the Naples start on May 4th. Having originally been denied ProTeam registration for 2013, the Russian team looked set to miss a number of events in the WorldTour. Despite being invited to all RCS Sport’s other big races, Katusha was originally passed over, with Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Colombia and Vini Fantini-Selle Italia those chosen for the first Grand Tour of the year.

Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez finished second in the 2012 Giro, winning two stages and the points jersey, an went on to win the WorldTour for the second time in three years, while the team also finished second in the WorldTour team rankings.

The wildcards were awarded on January 8th, but on February 15th Katusha successfully appealed to the Court for Arbitration in Sport Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS). The Russian team was officially been named as the 19th ProTeam, meaning that it would automatically be invited to all WorldTour events, which complicated matters for those events that had already issued wildcards.

This was particularly acute for the Giro d’Italia, with the 22 invited teams of nine riders taking the expected peloton size to 198. To add Katusha to the teams list would mean either reducing the team size to eight, taking back one of the four wildcard invitations issued, or breaking UCI regulation 2.2.002, which limits the peloton size to 200.

Race director Michele Acquarone confirmed last week that he had not yet received permission to do so from the UCI.

On April 2nd the UCI officially granted RCS Sport special dispensation to breach the regulation, however, and so it has confirmed that Katusha will be the 23rd team in a peloton of 207 riders. This is not without precedent, as the Giro also had an oversize peloton in the 2011 edition, with exemption granted due to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

Giro d’Italia (WT) May 4th-26th invited teams

UCI ProTeams (invited by right, and required to attend)
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (Ita)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
FDJ (Fra)
Blanco Pro Cycling (Ned)
Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Lampre-Merida (Ita)
Lotto-Belisol (Bel)
Katusha Team (Rus)
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) 
Androni Giocattoli (Ita) – Automatic right to participate as winner of the Coppa Italia 2012
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Ita)
Colombia (Col)
Vini Fantini (Ita)


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