Relief for Geox TMC as team listed amongst wildcards for Milan-Sanremo
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Relief for Geox TMC as team listed amongst wildcards for Milan-Sanremo

by Shane Stokes at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Total of seven invites handed out for 2011 season

Denis MenchovDays after learning that it would not be given an invite to the Tour de France, the Geox TMC team of Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre has been confirmed as being granted a place in Milan-Sanremo.

The Italian-sponsored, Spanish-run team was passed over by Tour organisers ASO but has no such issues with RCS Sports, which organises Milan-Sanremo and the Giro d’Italia. Giving the team a place means that there is a good chance that it will secure a ride in the Giro.

The other wildcard teams confirmed today include four others with strong Italian connections: Acqua & Sapone and Androni Giocattoli, plus Conago-CSF Inox and Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli. The latter two are registered in Ireland and Britain respectively, but this is most likely done for tax reasons as they are, to all extents and purposes, Italian teams.

Also on board are the French outfits Cofidis and FDJ. The list is comprised mainly of the 18 UCIProTeams.

The news is a welcome boost for Geox TMC, which was both surprised and upset by its omission from the Tour list. It had been trying to get a wildcard place after it was passed over for a ProTeam licence, and felt it had a chance with Sastre winning the race in 2008 and Menchov netting third overall last year.

Sastre commented on the refusal yesterday, masking his clear disappointment by saying he would refocus on other goals.

“I really do think that it’s a shame, because after ten year’s competing in the French tour, not being able to do it in 2011 is really bad news. But, that is what is happening and we can’t do anything about it.

“At the moment there are other important races, such as the Italian Giro, the Vuelta a España and an alternative calendar, which will allow us to be able to ride and compete, and that is the most important thing. We will have to fight in all these races so that the team can continue on its course and at the level that is deserves."

Gaining an invite to Milan-Sanremo doesn’t make the Giro ride a certainty, but it is generally interpreted as a positive sign.

Teams for 2011 Giro d’Italia (eight riders each):

Acqua & Sapone (Ita) - wildcard
Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra) *
Androni Giocattoli (Ita) - wildcard
Bmc Racing Team (USA) *
Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne (Fra) - wildcard
Colnago - Csf Inox (Ire) - wildcard
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Esp) *
Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli (Gbr) - wildcard
Fdj (Fra) - wildcard
Geox-TMC (Esp) - wildcard
HTC-Highroad (USA) *
Katusha Team (Rus) *
Lampre-Isd (Ita) *
Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita) *
Movistar Team (Esp) *
Omega Pharma-Lotto (Bel) *
Pro Team Astana (Kaz) *
Quick Step Cycling Team (Bel) *
Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned) *
Saxo Bank Sungard (Den) *
Sky Procycling (Gbr) *
Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA) *
Team Leopard – Trek (Lux) *
Team Radioshack (USA) *
Vacansoleil - Dcm Pro Cycling Team (Ned) *

* = UCI ProTeam


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