Saturday, December 11, 2010

Crystal Ball: 2011 Giro d'Italia Invitations

In theory there could be 23 three teams invited to the Giro d'Italia. For that to occur, however, it would require that teams be made of 8 riders rather 9 in order to not exceed the 200 rider limit. The UCI could make an exception of the 200 rider limit which would permit 23 teams of 9 riders (207 total). Certainly, no team wants to tackle the Giro with only eight riders. Therefore, it's most likely that 22 teams will be invited.

Of the 22 slots only four are open as invitations 18 must go to the teams designated as "UCI ProTeam". These are:

AG2R
Garmin-Cervélo
Katusha
Lampre-ISD
Omega Pharma-Lotto
Quick Step Cycling Team
Rabobank Cycling Team
Saxo Bank SunGard
Sky ProCycling
Team RadioShack
BMC Racing Team
Euskaltel-Euskadi
HTC-Highroad
Liquigas-Cannondale
Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
Movistar Team
Pro Team Astana
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team

That would leave 4 invitations slots available for other teams. Of these 1 has already been promised, by Giro director Angelo Zomegnan, to Androni Giocattoli on the basis of their being the Italian national championship squad. Farnese-Neri has also been invited on the basis that Giovanni Visconti is the Italian national champion and Zomegan wants the tricolor jersey at the racing which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. (note: this paragraph updated December 13, 2010)

The remaining two slots could go to: Colnago, Acqua&Sapone, Geox or Pegasus (the new Australian team, currently struggling with meeting UCI license requirements).

The French team of AG2R may skip the Giro which would then open another slot.

It shouldn't be too long before we learn of the invitation list for the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

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