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Russian team Gazprom-Rusvelo included in first Grand Tour of the season.

Photo: Sirotti








18.01.2016 @ 11:28 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Today RCS Sport announced the wild card teams invited to three out of the four UCI WorldTour races it organises: Giro d’Italia, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo. The allocation of Wild cards for the fourth race, Il Lombardia, will be announced later in the year, after evaluating the racing performance of the teams requesting to participate in the Classic of the Falling Leaves.

All three races will, evidently, see the participation of the 18 eligible UCI WorldTeams.


The wild cards for the Giro d’Italia, which takes place from 6-29 May, were awarded to Italian teams Bardiani CSF, Nippo-Vini Fantini and Southeast-Venezuela. The latter was included courtesy of the overall win in the Italian Cup. The last wild card entry was allocated, somewhat surprisingly, to Russian outfit Gazprom-Rusvelo.


Race director Mauro Vegni had already made it clear that there would only be room for three of the four Italian pro continental teams. The big loser is Androni-Venezuela that will miss the race for the first time in several years.


Also noteworthy was the handing out of five entries to the Tirreno-Adriatico (9-15 March).  Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec (Italy), Bardiani CSF (Italy), BORA-ARGON 18 (Germany), Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (Spain) and Polish team CCC Sprandi Polkowice will be making preparations for the week long Italian stage race.


Finally, wild card entries for the first Monument of the season, the Milano-Sanremo on March 19, was also distributed, the places going to Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec, Bardiani CSF, BORA-ARGON 18, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Cofidis, Solutions Credits,  Southeast – Venezuela and TEAM Novo Nordisk.


Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Head of Cycling, commented: “First of all I would like to thank the many teams that requested to participate at our races this year. This makes us incredibly proud, but at the same time makes the choice of the wild cards more and more difficult. Following the philosophy we adopted in the last few years, we wanted to once again safeguard Italian cycling, while at the same time keeping a very close eye on all the other requests coming from all over the world."


"In this year's selections, in particular those for the Giro d'Italia, we wanted to give space to our national movement, but that doesn't need to be the only factor that we are obliged to consider. The international development of all our races remains one of the cornerstones of our strategy and guided us in the final choice of the wild cards."


Reactions from the teams to follow.



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