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by Mark Zalewski
January 20, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Caleb Ewan asserts Tour Down Under sprint dominance with stage 3 win; The comeback star: Marianne Vos on her stellar cross season and the pure joy of being back; Cookson answers questions at Tour Down Under; Nippo – Vini Fantini manager asks for Italian federation, UCI to intervene in Giro wildcard process; RCS Sport director responds to wildcard selection reactions; Quintana to race Giro-Tour double;Wiggins’ former teammate speaks in defence of TUEs; 15 WorldTour teams for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Gaudry re-elected as President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation; Armstrong enters endurance MTB race with former Postal teammates; Santos Tour Down Under, stage 3 highlights; ORICA-Scott Backstage Pass – Tour Down Under, stage 3; Video: Cyclist has close call with falling tree.
RCS Sport’s cycling director Mauro Vegni responded to the likes of Androni Giocattoli sponsor Mario Androni, who reacted to his team’s non-selection for this year’s Giro d’Italia saying it would force him to end his sponsorship, by saying that the Italian teams have for years “run on a mistaken model.”
“‘We either race the Giro or we close the team.’ You can’t have this as your way of reasoning,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The Italian cycling crisis is not based solely on the Giro wildcard selections.”
It’s an unusual time for Italian cycling as it no longer has a team in the WorldTour, with Lampre-Merida’s license moving to a Middle Eastern outfit this year. Vegni made it clear that the selection process weighted towards teams that are promoting Italian cycling. “I’d like to see that the best young Italian talents pass through these teams. The project that Bardiani has is a good platform to launch young cyclists.”
RCS Sport announced its selections for the four wildcard slots for the Giro d’Italia, choosing only two of the four Italian ProContinental teams, while also choosing two non-Italian teams. Androni Giocattoli and Nippo – Vini Fantini were only selected for the organisation’s other races — Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo.
“It can’t be that the Giro is everything, and our other races count for nothing,” Vegni said. “The teams that aren’t racing the Giro are racing Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Sanremo. If it’s all linked to the Giro, that means that these teams don’t have a true project.”