Dutch disappointed with only one team in 2010 Giro d'Italia
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Dutch disappointed with only one team in 2010 Giro d'Italia

by Ben Atkins at 11:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

vacansoleilWith this year’s Giro d’Italia starting in the Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam, the Dutch teams may have been hoping for a favour from the race’s organiser RCS Sport. It was not to be though, and the country’s sole representative at the race will be its only ProTour team Rabobank; Professional Continental teams Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil will have to watch the race from the side of the road as is passes through their country.

Both teams have spent the early part of the season attempting to curry favour with Tour de France organisers, ASO. Wouter Mol of Vacansoleil won the Tour of Qatar after being part of the stage 1 breakaway, and the whole team was constantly on the attack at the Tour of Oman. Every stage at Paris-Nice was marked by a major attack from either a Vacansoleil or Skil-Shimano rider, or more likely both.

With no races in Italy for either team this year though, they have had no chance to try the same with RCS Sport.

Both teams are disappointed with their non-invitation to the race that will spend its first three days in their country. Neither though is surprised at RCS Sport’s decision.

"As a [Pro] Continental Team we are dependent on invitations from organizers,” said Skil-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink on sportwereld.nl. “Skil-Shimano is capable of riding two Grand Tours in a season. We’re looking primarily at riding the Tours of France and of Spain, where the competition for places at the Tour [de France] is always enormous.''

"It would have been good for Dutch cycling, but the organisers have a variety of interests to serve, so I understand.''

"We have our focus on the spring classics and the Tour de France, although the latter is also uncertain for us,” said Vacansoleil team boss in sportwereld.nl. “We would have been happy to be invited to the Giro. We would have jumped at the chance.

“It would have been a good thing for Dutch cycling if a second team had been invited beside Rabobank,” he continued. “Last year we rode the Tour of Spain, which started in the Netherlands – that was a big party. It is also unfortunate for the efforts of Amsterdam. It [our non-invitation] can’t be down to our performance so far.''

Both teams do have a slim chance of making the race start as they are on a list of six reserve teams. One or more of these teams may be invited if any of the 22 invited teams gives RCS Sport reason to withdraw its invitation. The other four teams on the list though are all Italian, so the Dutch are likely at the back of the line.


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