Vini Fantini-Selle Italia withdraws from il Lombardia following Giro d’Italia positives
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia withdraws from il Lombardia following Giro d’Italia positives

by Ben Atkins at 6:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Doping, Giro di Lombardia
Team acting out of “respect” for RCS Sport after “embarrassment” of Di Luca and Santambrogio

danilo di lucaIn light of the team’s second positive test for EPO in the Giro d’Italia, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia has decided to hand back its wildcard invitation to il Lombardia. The one-day race is the one remaining event to be organised by RCS Sport, the Giro d’Italia organiser, and the giallo fluo team will now sit the race out out of “respect” for the organisation that trusted it enough to invite it to all of its other races so far.

The first positive for the team was that of Danilo Di Luca, who had only joined the team at the behest of its sponsor in the weeks before the Giro. The “Killer of Spoltore” was caught in a surprise out of competition test before the race, while it was announced yesterday that Mauro Santambrigio had also failed a test, taken after the first stage.

“For our big respect for the organiser and to preserve the good relationship that we had with them until now, we prefer to renounce at the invitation at the upcoming Lombardia,’ reads the team’s statement. “We fully understand the situation of difficulty and embarrassment situation in which, unfortunately, the organisers are in thanks to recent events. We don't want to create any more problems for RCS, to whom we will will always be thankful for the trust it has shown us for all this years.”

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia was invited to all four of RCS Sport’s WorldTour races - riding Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo as well as the Giro d’Italia - and its two other races, the Strade Bianche and Roma Maxima. It was one of seven Professional Continental teams invited to il Lombardia - formerly the Giro di Lombardia - and so another team may well be invited to take its place.

Following the news of Santambrogio’s positive test the team’s future has been put in some doubt. As a member of the sport’s second division it has to rely on invitations to the big races and may find itself passed over in 2014 if organisers like RCS Sport choose to punish them.


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