Team ISD continues its push for entry in the Giro d'Italia this May. The Italian Professional Continental team backed by a Ukrainian sports institute will rely on star signing Giovanni Visconti and technical consultant Mario Cipollini to gain entrance into the Italian three-week stage race, May 9 to 31.
"Last year from 22 teams only six were invited from the Pro Continental division. The quantity of these wild cards is limited and it's not clear how many there will be given this year. The distribution of the wild cards will depend on the team reputation, on its members and staff," said Team Manager Mark Beygelzimer in a press statement.
Giro organiser RCS Sport will announce the 22 participating teams at the end of next month. The race is celebrating its 100 year of existence and will have a rich list of contenders for the leader's pink jersey. American Lance Armstrong included it as part of his comeback season, he will join high-caliber riders such as Ivan Basso, Gilberto Simoni, Carlos Sastre and Danilo Di Luca.
ISD is a new team for 2009. Directeur Sportifs Angelo Citracca and Luca Scinto will guide the young team. Former Italian Champion and wearer of the 2008 Giro's maglia rosa is the team's star rider. He joins a roster that includes mostly Italians and Ukrainian riders.
Former World Champion Cipollini will help direct the team. He will be in the team car in some races and help the riders prepare for their objectives.
The team presented itself Sunday in Donetsk, Ukraine. Back in Italy, it will have its first camp of 2009 from January 9 to 15. (GB)