Giro d'Italia invites initial 20 teams

Fourteen of the 18 licensed ProTour teams and six Professional Continental teams have been invited...

Fourteen of the 18 licensed ProTour teams and six Professional Continental teams have been invited by organizers RCS Sport to this year's centennial Giro d'Italia from May 9 to 31.

Absent from the list of teams are four ProTour squads: Cofidis, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Française des Jeux and Fuji-Servetto. The Spanish Fuji-Servetto team, affected in 2008 by the doping offenses of riders Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli, has also been denied invitations to two other major events organized by RCS Sport, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo.

Three other teams missing from the Giro d'Italia start list are the Flaminia Bossini Docce team of current Italian national road champion Filippo Simeoni, Team Barloworld and the CSF Navigare Team. The latter was the team of Emanuele Sella and Matteo Priamo, who together won four stages of the 2008 Giro d'Italia. Sella later tested positive for the performance enhancing EPO CERA during an out-of-competition control and named Priamo as his supplier of the drug.

RCS Sport may invite two additional teams to the Giro, but they will be announced at a later date. The organizers indicated that adherence to the biological passport program is a prerequisite for selection.

2009 Giro d'Italia teams:ProTour: AG2R - La Mondiale (Fra), Astana (Kaz), BBox Bouygues Telecom (Fra), Caisse d'Epargne (Spa), Garmin-Slipstream (USA), Katusha (Rus), Lampre-N.G.C. (Ita), Liquigas (Ita), Team Milram (Ger), Quick Step (Bel), Rabobank (Ned), Saxo Bank - IT Factory (Den), Silence-Lotto (Bel) and Team Columbia (USA). ProConti: Acqua & Sapone - Caffè Mokambo (Ita), Cervélo Test Team (Swi), ISD (Ita), LPR Brakes Farnese Vini (Irl), Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli (Ven), Xacobeo Galicia (Spa).

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