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by Mark Zalewski
January 19, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Richie Porte attacks to win stage 2 of the Tour Down Under and take overall lead; Four Giro wildcards announced with only two Italian teams; Report into British Cycling culture expected in February; Belgian team for cyclocross World Championships announced; With no team options, Luca Paolini retires; Patrice Ciprelli, husband of Jeannie Longo, back in court for EPO import case; GreenEDGE Cycling to launch Chinese-collaboration Continental team in 2017; Snow blankets team training camps in Spain; Cycling Victoria announces new race and change to oldest event; Highlights: Men’s Santos Tour Down Under, stage 2; Nys shows he still has it while training with team; Video: Team Sunweb; Video: Riding Vertical Walls on a Bike.
RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro d’Italia, announced the four wildcard teams that will join the 18 WorldTour squads for the 100th anniversary of the race, and as speculated, only two of the four Italian ProContinental teams were invited, with a Russian and Polish team taking the remaining slots.
Bardiani-CSF and Wilier-Selle Italia are the Italian teams invited, along with Gazprom RusVelo and CCC-SPRANDI-POLKOWICE. Androni Giocattoli and Nippo-Vini Fantini were left off the list, but both did receive invitations to RCS Sport’s other races Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo. As well the American ProContinental team Novo Nordisk, featuring racers with type 1 diabetes, was selected for Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo.
The Androni Giocattoli team was vocal in its disappointment over the non-selection, since the team was also excluded from last year’s Giro. “A hard blow for our team,” general manager Gianni Savio told Gazetta della Irpinia, who is with the team in South America preparing for early season races. “After returning from Venezuela we will organize a press conference to expose our thinking and make our voices heard.”
However, the team’s main sponsor Mario Androni told tuttobiciweb that this is the final straw for his sponsorship.
“It was a cold shower. We are very disappointed because I was convinced that after a year [not selected] there was a place for us at the Giro. Consequences? I am not a man to react hysterically, but last year I did an evaluation, I decided that in case of failure to invite again in 2017 my sponsorship in cycling would end. We thought way a year ago, I told them clearly and now I confirm it. I do not want to get into the merits of decisions taken by the owners of the Giro d’Italia, just to say that for the Androni Company is about to close a parenthesis that still gives us great satisfaction.”
Click through to read more at Gazetta dello Sport.