Tirreno-Adriatico announces twenty team invitations
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tirreno-Adriatico announces twenty team invitations

by Ben Atkins at 12:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Local teams get wild cards once more as Geox-TMC misses out on another race

stefano garzelliRCS Sport, the organiser of the Tirreno-Adriatico, has announced the list of twenty teams that will be invited to this year’s race. As a World Tour race the team’s list is similar to that of the Tour de France, which were announced earlier today. RCS Sport, which is also the organiser of such races as the Giro d’Italia and Milano-Sanremo, has invited all 18 ProTeams, in accordance with International Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour regulations, and has also favoured the locals with its wild card selection.

The two Professional Continental teams that have been lucky enough to receive a starting spot are Acqua & Sapone, home of evergreen 2010 winner Stefano Garzelli, and Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli, which includes Italian champion and European Tour winner Giovanni Visconti.

Once again the big name to miss out is Geox-TMC, which was also passed over by the Tour de France and Paris-Nice. While the team missed out on ProTeam status for 2011, it must have felt confident about receiving invitations to many if not all of the season’s major races with stars like Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov on its books. This is not turning out to be the case though and Mauro Gianetti’s team must be wondering what they are going to do for racing this season.

Also likely to be a little disappointed to miss out will be Italian ProConti team Colnago-CSF Inox. The blue and white team was present at the race last year and placed a rider in the top ten of every stage but one; sprinter Sacha Modolo was third on the final stage and Domenico Pozzovivo finished seventh overall.

While an invitation, or non-invitation to Tirreno-Adriatico is no guarantee of receiving the same for Milano-Sanremo or the Giro d’Italia (ISD-Neri rode Tirreno last year but was not invited to the Giro), it is something of a barometer of what RCS Sport currently thinks of a team.

One grain of hope for those who’ve missed out is that last year’s race had 22 teams invited, while 2009’s race had 25; it may be that RCS Sport will add a further team or two later on.

ProTeams receiving automatic invitations to both races according to UCI WorldTour regulations
AG2R La Mondiale (Fra)
BMC Racing Team (Usa)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
HTC-Highroad (USA)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre-ISD (Ita)
Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita)
Movistar Team (Spa)
OmegaPharma-Lotto (Bel)
Pro Team Astana (Kaz)
Quick Step Cycling Team (Bel)
Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned)
Saxo Bank SunGard (Den)
Sky Procycling (GBr)
Team Garmin-Cervélo (USA)
Team Leopard – Trek (Lux)
Team Radioshack (USA)
Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)

ProContinental Teams awarded wild cards:
Acqua & Sapone (Ita)
Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli (GBr)


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