Bardiani-CSF secure sponsorship till 2020

Professional Continental team adds Guardini and Senni to all-Italia roster

Bardiani and CSF have confirmed they will sponsor the Italian Professional team until 2020 despite multiple cases of doping during 2017 that hit the team hard during 2017 and could damage their chances of securing a wild card invitation to next year's Giro d'Italia.

Bardiani-CSF have signed sprinter Andrea Guardini from UAE Team Emirates and Colorado Classic winner Manuel Senni from BMC Racing to boost their 17-rider 2018 roster. Bardiani-CSF will again have an all-Italian roster, with an average age of 23.5 years. The riders have gathered for their first training camp of the new season in Montecchio Emilia in central Italy and revealed a new-look green and orange kit. Luca Bardiani still hopes the team can one day step up to WorldTour level.

"For our team the sponsorship extension is, first of all, a new boost of confidence," general manager Bruno Reverberi said confirming the news.

"We are really happy and satisfied that the #GreenTeam story have a future. We would like to thank Luca and Emanuela Bardiani, Rolando Paterlini and CSF founders Aldo Pattacini and Ettore Catellani because all together we're build something important.

"With up and downs, wins and defeats, Bardiani-CSF found its place in professional cycling and is giving an important contribute to keep alive Italian movement."

Bardiani-CSF won four races in 2017: a stage at the Tour de Langkawi, two stages at the Tour of Croatia, and a stage at the Tour of Utah. The team finished 66th in the Europe Tour rankings.

The UCI confirmed that Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi had tested positive for growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs) on the day of the team presentation at the Giro d'Italia. The rider took to the stage but then sneaked away. They were eventually banned and sacked by Bardiani-CSF but the double-positive sparked a month ban for the whole team from June 14 to July 14.

The team was caught up in another anti-doping case in October when La Gazzetta dello Sport revealed that 22-year-old Michael Bresciani tested positive for the diuretic furosemide in his first race with the team. He joined the team on June 1 to replace Ruffoni and Pirazzi but tested positive at the Italian national championships.

Bresciani claimed his positive test was sparked by contamination from medicine his mother takes. He has not been suspended by the UCI while they study his case but he agreed to a self-suspension with the Bardiani-CSF team in August, claiming he was only negligent and had not tried to dope. Bresciani is listed as part of the Bardiani-CSF roster for 2018.

12 riders have been retained from the 2017 squad including Vincenzo Albanese, Simone Andreetta, Enrico Barbin, Giulio Ciccone and Simone Sterbini. Nicola Boem and Niccolò Pacinotti have left the team, while Guardini and Senni are joined by neo-pros Giovanni Carboni, Umberto Orsini and Daniel Savini.

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