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Katusha and NetApp-Endura miss out, MTN-Qhubeka invited to Milano-Sanremo
RCS Sport has awarded Giro d'Italia wild card invitations to Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Fantini Vini–Selle Italia and the Colombia team, with NetApp-Endura, IAM Cycling and Katusha missing out on places at the corsa rosa. Androni Giocattoli secured an automatic wild card place thanks to winning the 2012 Coppa Italia race classification that includes all the minor Italian races.
Some of the teams that missed out on place in the Giro d'Italia have been awarded wild card places in Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and Il Lombardia.
RCS Sport apparently considered Katusha as a Professional Continental team and the Russian team has been invited to Tirreno-Adriatico with MTN-Qhubeka, NetApp-Endura and Vini Fantini.
MTN-Qhubeka, Africa's first Pro Continental team, opted not to ride the Giro d'Italia in its first season at that level, but the team impressed RCS Sport and secured rides in both Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo, where team leader Gerald Ciolek could have a chance in a sprint finish.
25 teams will ride Milano-Sanremo: the 18 WorldTour teams plus Androni Giocattoli, Katusha, MTN-Qhubaka, IAM Cycling, Bardiani, Vini Fantini and Team Europcar.
Androni Giocattoli, Katusha, Colombia, IAM Cycling, NetApp-Endura, Vini Fantini and Team Europcar have secured the wild card places for il Lombardia.
The five-member RCS Sport wild card commission studied the dossiers of the ten teams hoping to secure invitations to the major Italian races, considering the strength of the riders but also their marketing and communication strategies and their importance to promoting the Giro d'Italia globally.