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Bbox and Cofidis snubbed by Amstel organisers

By:
Richard Tyler
Published:
March 16, 2010, 10:00 GMT,
Updated:
March 16, 2010, 10:27 GMT
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Race:
Amstel Gold Race
Cofidis and Bbox patrol the front of the peloton

Cofidis and Bbox patrol the front of the peloton

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Sky, RadioShack and BMC in as Dutch Classic confirms teams

Pro Continental squads Bbox Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis have been overlooked by organisers of Amstel Gold Race after they missed out on the final wild card invitations offered for the Dutch Classic.

The two French teams, who lost their ProTour status at the end of 2009, have made way for ProTour newcomers Team Sky and RadioShack in the final list of 24 teams that will compete in the 45th edition of the race on April 18. It will be the first time since 2004 that Bbox and Cofidis will not take part in the race.

On Monday, Amstel Race Director Leo van Vliet announced Cervélo TestTeam, BMC Racing Team, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator and Landbouwkrediet as the final four wild card teams invited to the race. BMC replaces Italian team Androni-Giocatolli, who had competed in the event for the first time in 2009.

Cofidis' exclusion is particularly surprising given their strong start to the 2010 season. The team are the current leaders of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) Europe Tour rankings, with Samuel Dumoulin the leader of the individual ranking.

Sky and RadioShack will now join the other 16 ProTour squads will take part in the event, with Dutch Pro Continental teams Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil earlier installed in two of the six wild card places on offer.

BMC's inaugural inclusion also opens the possibility for last year's top-three to return to the race. Russian Champion Sergei Ivanov (Katusha) won the 2009 edition, ahead of BMC's Karsten Kroon (then Saxo Bank) and local hero Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

The 24 teams that will participate in the 45th edition of the Amstel Gold Race are:

Ag2R-La Mondiale
Astana
Caisse d’Epargne
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Footon-Servetto
Française des Jeux
Garmin-Transitions
HTC-Columbia
Katusha
Lampre-Farnese Vini
Liquigas-Doimo
Milram
Omega Pharma-Lotto
Quick Step
Rabobank
RadioShack
Saxo Bank
Team Sky
BMC Racing Team
Cervélo TestTeam
Landbouwkrediet
Skil-Shimano
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
Vacansoleil
 

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