Zomegnan: Giro d'Italia's Amsterdam start will have only one Dutch team
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Zomegnan: Giro d'Italia's Amsterdam start will have only one Dutch team

by VeloNation Press at 2:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

This year's Giro d'Italia is set to begin on May 8th in Amsterdam and, according to Sportdome.nl, race director Angelo Zomegnan says there will likely only be one Dutch team at the start. Guaranteed a position is the Rabobank team of last year's winner Denis Menchov, but the Italian doesn't see the two Dutch Pro Continental teams Vacansoleil and Skil-Shimano taking part.

Both teams will be disappointed to miss the Italian Grand Tour, but are even more concerend with whether they will be present in Rotterdam two months later for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Now, with neither team making the cut for the Giro, their wild card selection for July becomes all the more important.

"This is tough news and the teams themselves know how difficult the situation is," said Zomegnan. All three Grand Tours make it a point to include teams from the host country, and in many cases that fact eliminates several good candidates, including teams of the other nations they visit.

In 2010 the selection process has become even more complicated for race organizers. New teams such as Team Sky and RadioShack have emerged, and the BMC Racing team has bolstered its lineup with world champion Cadel Evans, former world champion Alessandro Ballan and American national champion George Hincapie. Newcomers last year, Cervélo TestTeam, will bring a motivated Carlos Sastre and, after multiple stage wins in 2009, have certainly earned a repeat appearance. French teams Cofidis and Bbox Bouygues Telecom are also now Pro Continental teams after being downgraded by the UCI, but their longevity in the sport should win them their place.

The absence of the Italian Ceramica Flamina team due to Riccardo Riccò's presence will free up a spot, but with so many teams performing at a high level, the Dutch fans will still be caught out. He was positive about the location, saying he chose it because "The Netherlands is a cycling country", adding that the Netherlands "could be an example for the rest of the world".

Vacansoleil said their goal was to ride two Grand Tours in their second year, and admitted they preferred to ride the Italian race in favor of a second participation in the Vuelta a Espana. Skil Shimano rode the Tour de France last year and was aggressive throughout the race. Both teams are now working hard to impress the Tour de France organizers, with the pressure of the Giro snub looming.

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