The teams for the Giro were announced today by RCS Sport and, as a result, there’s bound to be a few long-faced team managers and sponsors. Here’s the list of successful applicants, 15 Pro-Tour teams and 7 wild cards:-
Lampre Farnese Vini
Acqua & Sapone
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Cofidis-Le Credit en Ligne
The selection is pretty self-explanatory. Either you’re a team covered by the September 2008 agreement, a new, too big to ignore, Pro-Tour team, or your recent (and past) results justify your inclusion.
Probably of more note are the obvious omissions from the Pro-Tour ranks such as Radioshack, FDJ and Euskatel Euskadi. The Shack have given, not unnaturally, precedence to the Tour of California, are not covered by the September agreement with the Pro-Tour teams and, apparently, eschewed an invite. While the other two are covered by the agreement, one has to assume they too didn’t seek invitations. However, I’m surprised to see Footon-Servetto on the list given that they didn’t receive invites to either Milan-San Remo or Tirreno-Adriatico.
Let’s now look at those Continental-Pro teams which didn’t get an invite. First up, the two Dutch squads, Skil Shimano and Vacansoleil; after all the Giro is starting in Amsterdam on 8 May. Neither team has any Italians in their squad and, while Vacansoleil livened up last year’s Vuelta, Skil (apart from Kenny Van Hummel) were damp squibs at the Tour.
A number of Italian Pro-Continental teams haven’t received an invite. Riccardo Ricco’s presence on team Ceramica Flaminia presumably scuppered their chances; Carminooro-NGC have only just upgraded from Continental; while, ISD Neri and De Rosa-Stac Plastic haven’t posted much in the way of results. Maybe, next year…………………………….