Androni-Sidermec and Nippo-Vini Fantini were left off the list when organisers of the Giro d’Italia announced the four wildcard teams that will join the 18 WorldTour squads for the 100th anniversary of the race.
The Androni-Sidermec team was vocal in its disappointment over the non-selection, since the team was also excluded from last year’s Giro.
Race director Mauro Vegni told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The Italian cycling crisis is not based solely on the Giro wildcard selections. It’s the fact that for years these teams have 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.”
“I’m sorry for Androni but there has to be a project behind the teams,” Vegni said. “It’s the same for Nippo, who I put faith in for the last two years. I want to see the best young Italian riders turn pro with them. In Nippo’s case, Arrendondo doesn’t make much difference.”
“Bardiani is the one with a project. It’s launching young talented riders. Wilier was second in the Coppa Italia but won’t ride Tirreno,” Vegni said. “Gazprom is a sponsor of the Champions League and has important plans for the future.”
“Poland is a new market and very interesting for the Giro. We’ve also got to consider the political and commercial aspects, not only the sporting aspects.”