By Gregor Brown
After wrapping up its team training camp and presentation in New Mexico, Team Astana learned the news that it had been omitted from the list of teams invited to the Giro d'Italia in May.
"We are extremely surprised," said Astana Press Officer Philippe Maertens was boarding a flight with many of the team members including 2007 Tour de France winner Contador in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Our team management is currently trying to contact Zomegnan ..."
Astana did compete in the 2007 Giro d'Italia. Its highest place rider was Eddy Mazzoleni, in third. His team-mate, two time former winner Paolo Savoldelli was the squad's next best rider to finish in 12th.
On the other hand, Professional Continental team CSF Group-Navigare director Bruno Reverberi was pleased, but unsurprised with the news that his team was selected.
"It's pleasant news, but in fact I didn't consider our presence something uncertain. 2008 will be my 27th consecutive year in the Giro, my teams have always been very active and combative," said Reverberi. "We've been winning stages for the last eight years and we've always had good performances as a team and in the special classifications. The Giro d'Italia for us is like the harvesting for a farmer: a very crucial point."
CSF Inox Group, which recent became the lead sponsor, was happy and Managing Director of the group Dr. Andrea Ferrari said, "It's a first important step for our season."