Caja Rural, Cofidis and NetApp-Endura awarded Vuelta a España wildcards
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Caja Rural, Cofidis and NetApp-Endura awarded Vuelta a España wildcards

by Ben Atkins at 7:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Only one Spanish ProConti team to chose from for 2013’s third Grand Tour

vuelta a espanaOn the eve of the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic has officially announced that Caja Rural, Cofidis and NetApp-Endura are the three teams to have been awarded wildcard invitations to this year’s race. The Vuelta, which start on August 24th, is still more than three months away but, with the certainty of an early invitation, the three teams will be able to properly plan the second half of their seasons.

Like RCS Sport and ASO - the organisers of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France - Unipublic has been as patriotic as possible with its selection of Caja Rural but, since the demise of the Andalucía team, this is the only Spanish team left at Professional Continental level.

The selection of Cofidis is not unexpected, since the French team has been present at every edition of the Spanish Tour since 2001. It’s recent presence can partly be attributed to the fact that the company is one of the race’s main sponsors, although the now-retired David Moncoutié also managed to take a stage victory and the overall mountains classification every year between 2008 and 2011.

Having come close to an invitation to both the Tour and Giro, Team NetApp-Endura is clearly pleased to have been invited to the third of this year’s three week races. Having ridden the 2012 Giro, the German team - then known as just Team NetApp - was hopeful of another invitation this season; RCS Sport favoured Colombia for its overseas team, however, with ASO going all French.

"We always believed firmly in the fact that we will ride a Grand Tour this season, too,” said Ralph Denk, team manager for NetApp-Endura. “At the Giro we were the only team without Italian roots to receive votes and at the Tour we were on the short-list of candidates. After we came up just short two times before, things finally came together with an invitation to the Vuelta.

“The whole team is excited and can’t wait to race the Vuelta," he added.

The race will start with a team time trial in the northwestern city of Vilanova de Arousa, on August 24th, and cover 3,319km before its usual Madrid finish on September 15th.

Vuelta a España (WT) August 24th - September 15th

Invited Teams

19 WorldTour 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 (Esp)
FDJ (Fra)
Garmin – Sharp (USA)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre – Merida (Ita)
Lotto Belisol (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Omega Pharma – Quickstep 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)

Three Professional Continental teams (wildcards)
Caja Rural (Esp)
Cofidis (Fra)
Team NetApp-Endura (Ger)



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