Cycling News Flash, February 2, 2008
Edited by Sue George
Teams announced for 2008 Giro d'Italia partenza
Former champions and key ProTour teams without invite
By Gregor Brown
Organiser of the Giro d'Italia, RCS Sport, has released the list of teams that will partake in the 91st edition of its three-week race, departing from Palermo on May 10. Twenty-one teams of nine men will take part in the Italian Grand Tour; notably absent from the list are Astana (with Andreas Klöden and Alberto Contador), High Road (Marco Pinotti) and Acqua & Sapone (Stefano Garzelli and Luca Paolini).
In addition to ProTour Teams Astana and High Road, Bouygues Telecom and Crédit Agricole did not make the cut. Under new 'special calendar' rules agreed upon by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and national federation representatives in Treviso, Italy, RCS Sport Events Director Angelo Zomegnan was not subject to the ProTour rule that insists that all of its teams be invited.
Seven Professional Continental teams made the cut for the 2008 Corsa Rosa: Barloworld (Enrico Gasparotto and Mauricio Soler), Diquigiovanni-Androni (Gilberto Simoni), LPR Brakes (Danilo Di Luca and Paolo Savoldelli), Slipstream (David Zabriskie), Tinkoff Credit Systems (Mikhail Ignatiev), CSF Group Navigare (Luis Felipe Laverde) and NGC Medical-OTC.
RCS Sport stated its respect for the biological passports agreed upon at the anti-doping summit in Paris last October. It stated that the selection criteria were based on strict principles of "ethics, quality, international character [and] the historical relationship with RCS Sport." Further, in its press release it noted the "right to withdraw the invite at any moment."
The teams of the 91st Giro d'Italia are Ag2r-La Mondiale, Barloworld, Caisse d'Epargne, Cofidis, CSF Group Navigare, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Française des Jeux, Gerolsteiner, Lampre, Liquigas, LPR Brakes, NGC Medical-OTC Industria Porte, Quick Step, Rabobank, Saunier Duval-Scott, Silence-Lotto, Slipstream Chipotle - H30, Team CSC, Team Milram and Tinkoff Credit.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing Limited 2008)