Organizers for the Giro d’Italia announced the names of the wildcard teams today, which included the Italian Continental teams Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Vini Zabù-KTM (formerly Neri Sottoli-Selle Italia), after last year’s teams Total Direct Énergie and Circus-Wanty Gobert turned down their invitations.
“We are happy for the trust that the organizers wanted once again show in our project,” said Bardiani-CSF general manager in a press release. “We will do everything to reciprocate it, honouring as always every stage of our number one competition of the season.”
This year’s Italian Grand Tour will start in Budapest, Hungary, which bucks the recent trend of short, aggressive mountain stages with a return to a more ‘traditional’ route and a host of long and brutal stages. The final week will feature five stages over 200km, three of which will include over 5,000 metres of climbing.
Race organizers also announced its invitations for its three other major spring races, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix squad secured spots at both Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, but wasn’t invited to ‘the race of the two seas’.
Elsewhere, Total Direct Énergie was invited to Tirreno and San Remo, while Circus-Wanty Gobert will race at San Remo and Strade Bianche and the French squad Arkéa-Samsic will race at Tirreno and Strade Bianche.
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