Wildcard selections, season debut plans: Daily News

Mario Beccia, Greg Lemond, Phil Anderson, and Sean Kelly in the pack at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1984.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

As we cross over the midpoint of the week, team selections for several different events have been announced, while the early-season plans of some big names continue be revealed.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Arkéa-Samsic and Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec miss out on Giro wildcard selections

The RCS announced its team selection for the 2021 Giro d’Italia on Wednesday, confirming which second-division squads have received wildcard bids for the race and which have been left out.

With three spots available, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, Eolo-Kometa, and Vini Zabù received the wildcard invitations to the race. The 2021 Giro will mark Eolo-Kometa’s first ever Grand Tour start as the team moved up to the second division this year. Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè has not missed a Giro since 2009, while Vini Zabù has attended all but the 2010 and 2019 editions of the race since the team’s founding in 2009.

Although the UCI increased the number of teams racing the Grand Tours this year, there were still more ProTeams hoping for a Giro selection than there were available spots. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, which has not missed the race since 2017, was not selected, and neither was Arkéa-Samsic, despite the interest that Nairo Quintana showed in making the start this year.

The RCS also announced the teams selected to start Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milan-San Remo on Wednesday. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF Faizanè, Eolo Kometa, and Vini Zabù received invites to Strade Bianche, with Arkéa-Samsic automatically invited to all WorldTour one-days as the second-highest ranked ProTeam last year. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Eolo Kometa, Gazprom-Rusvelo, Arkéa-Samsic, and Total-Direct Energie received wildcard invites to Tirreno-Adriatico. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF Faizanè, Novo Nordisk, and Total-Direct Energie received wildcard invites to Milano-San Remo.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad announces team selection

If you like team selection news, you’re in luck, as the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad has also announced the squads that have been invited to this year’s race.

On the men’s side, B&B Hotels-KTM, Bingoal WB, Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, and Total Direct Energie have received wildcard invites to join the 19 WorldTour squads, Alpecin-Fenix, and Arkéa-Samsic.

On the women’s side, the nine WorldTour teams will be joined by Arkéa, Bingoal Casino-Chevalmeire, Burgos Alimenta, Ceratizit-WNT, Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus, Drops-Le Col, Hitec Products, Lotto Soudal, Multum Accountants, NXTG, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Jumbo-Visma, Rupelcleaning-Champion Lubricants, Tibco-SVB, and Valcar-Travel & Service.

Richard Carapaz will get his 2021 campaign underway at the Volta a Catalunya

Richard Carapaz will start his 2021 season at the Volta a Catalunya. The 2019 Giro d’Italia champion said via a post on his website that he expects the two summit finishes on tap in this year’s race to suit his skill set.

Following the Volta a Catalunya, Carapaz is slated to race the Itzulia Basque Country, the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastgone-Liège before returning home to Ecuador to prep for the Tour de France.

Fabio Aru will make his first start with Qhubeka-Assos at the Tour de la Provence

Qhubeka-Assos has announced its roster for the Tour de la Provence, confirming that newcomer Fabio Aru will make his first start with the squad in the French stage race.

This will mark Aru’s first ever appearance at the Tour de la Provence, which will feature a particularly impressive start list this year amid the cancellations or postponements of several other early-season events.

No Passo del Turchino at Milan-San Remo

According to Savonanews, this year’s edition of Milan-San Remo will not include the Passo del Turchino due to a landslide. Although last year’s race did not include the Passo del Turchino either due to route changes made when the mayors of several towns refused to allow the Giro to pass through, the climb has otherwise been a fixture of the course, traditionally as the lone major ascent in the first half of the race.

Organizers are currently weighing their options as to what the exact route will look like for this year’s race and will announce the route in the coming days.

Pinarello US announces Scuderia Pinarello brand ambassadors

Pinarello US has named eight athletes to its first US brand ambassador program, the Scuderia Pinarello.

“Our mission with the Scuderia is to welcome all people to discover their potential on a bike,” said Pinarello Senior Marketing Manager Kim Rogers in a press release. “We very intentionally selected a team of Ambassadors who represent a wide swath of the cycling spectrum and who are committed to helping motivate others to tap into the power of riding bikes.”

The eight athletes named to the team are Jamie Bestwick, Amity Rockwell, Adam Roberge, Anthony Carter, Mari Holden, Jess Cerra, Meredith Edwards, and Kai Lenny.

In case you missed it…

My new bike: Chad Haga’s Team DSM Scott Addict RC

In his latest video, Dave Everett catches up with Chad Haga to talk about his new ride.

From addiction to abstinence: What I learned from 12 months without coffee

Andy van Bergen describes the lessons he has learned after a year without coffee.

Editors Picks