Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège wildcard teams announced

Bora-Argon 18 lands fifth Monument invitation

The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) has announced the eight wildcard teams that received invitations for its upcoming events Flèche Wallonne (April 22) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 26).

Along with the 17 WorldTour teams that are obliged to compete, ASO has selected eight wildcard teams that will line up at each race. Six of those team will be competing in both races, including Cofidis, MTN-Qhubeka, Team Europcar, Team Roompot, Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise and Wanty-Groupe Gobert.

Bretagne-Séché Environnement and UnitedHealthcare received start spots for Flèche Wallonne, while Bora-Argon 18 and Cult Energy were invited to Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Bora-Argon 18 has already received invitations to Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Il Lombardia, and with their invitation to Liège-Bastonge-Liège will be competing in all five of cycling’s Monuments this year.

"This wildcard means a great deal to us, as Liège-Bastogne-Liège with its difficult profile suits our team particularly well," said team manager Ralph Denk in a press release. "We will be competing in this classic with our best tour riders and will be traveling to it directly from the Giro del Trentino.

"The guys will have gathered some good climbing there, enabling them to be in place on the decisive climbs in Liège. Last year saw us finish in the top 20 thanks to an outstanding team performance. That was our best Monument result so far in our team’s history, and that is also our target for April 26."

The invitation to La Doyenne ensures that Cult Energy will appear at two of the three Ardennes clascics, much to the surprise of the team's sport director André Steensen.

"Obviously, this is a big thing for us and our sponsors. We’re already invited to do the Amstel Gold Race and we didn’t dare to dream of another invitation for one of the big monuments," Steensen said. "Personally, I think LBL is the biggest one-day race of the season with the demanding distance and long climbs. In terms of the team, this is a huge opportunity for guys like Rasmus Guldhammer who has won the U23 edition of the race and for Linus Gerdemann who has already demonstrated good shape."
 

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