Interesting, perhaps troubling, comments as they relate to German team NetApp being selected as the last wild card team for the 2012 Giro d'Italia, made by race director Mauro Vegni (see Michele Acquarone, Managing Director at RCS Sports, comments here).
"For some years now the Giro d'Italia has been aiming to be an international product: we need the Giro to be loved not only in Italy but also in the rest of the world. If we go somewhere in Europe, for example, the Giro d'Italia means little or nothing.
This year the wild cards protected the Italian heritage from the point of view of the presence of Androni-CIPI, who had won the Italian Championship last year, Farnese-Selle Italia and Colnago CSF. The selection of the fourth team was based upon a criteria related to marketing areas that are important to us, such as Germany. There was anger about the exclusion of Acqua&Sapone: from a purely technical point of of view the team is more capable than NetApp but in terms of the German market that NetApp opens to us we decided to invite NetApp. We received fourteen requests for invitations to the Giro. There were other teams that from a sporting point of view deserved to be selected more than NetApp but we wanted to select a team not only from a sporting view but also one that followed our marketing logic to make the Giro more international."
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