The Giro will invite Acqua et Sapone, Androni Giocatelli, Farnese Vini, Colnago-CSF Inox and Geox. It was hard to leave any of these teams out, given the presence of Garzelli, Serpa, Visconti, Modolo and Belleti, Menchov and Sastre respectively.
Indeed normally only four wildcards would be announced as the race is capped at 200 riders but talks between RCS and the UCI saw the Giro allowed an extra team to be brought in, meaning 23 teams in total. Vacansoleil have been confirmed too. La Gazzetta Dello Sport reports the UCI allowed an extra team in after discussions saw the Giro promise to work closely with the UCI to combat doping, although what this means remains unclear.
That’s a lot of riders on small Italian roads but given the route is so mountainous maybe the numbers will be thinned, although the hardest climbing comes towards the end of the race.
It’s also a coup for British and Irish cycling who will see their teams riding. Not just Team Sky but Farnese Vini and Colnago-CSF. Because whilst these teams might not automatically make you think of north-western Europe and the Atlantic sea, that is actually where they are registered. Farnese Vini might associate itself with the picturesque area around Chieti and its tricolore champion Giovanni Visconti but it is in fact homed in a London suburb as the screengrab from the UCI website above confirms. Colnago-CSF are registered in the seaside town of Blackrock, just outside the Irish capital of Dublin.
It’s a small irony that the race will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, the creation of the Italian state, yet several teams have moved abroad. What’s Italian for “tax dodge”?