Vacansoliel with wild card to Lombardia

Team sees invitation as recognition of its successes

Vacansoliel has received wild card invitations to the Giro di Lombardia, October 17, and the Giro del Piemonte, October 15.  The Dutch Professional Continental team sees the invitations as a result of not only its strong performance in the recent Vuelta a Espana but from a year-long team effort.

"These invitations are a recognition of the results that the whole team has brought in the whole year," Sport Director Hilaire Van Der Schueren told  The team has 13 wins this season, including Borut Bozic's stage win in the Vuelta.

The team will likely be led in the two Italian fall classics by Matteo Carrara, who finished sixth in Lombardia in 2006.  This year the 30-year-old Italian won the Circuit de Lorraine stage race in May.

Sprinter Bozic has brought in five of the team's wins.  In addition to the Vuleta, he won stage sin the Tour de Limousin and the Tour du Pologne,  as well as two in the Tour of Belgium.

Two of the team's other Vuelta heroes were Johnny Hoogerland and Lieuwe Westra, both of whom were extremely active in escape groups.  Hoogerland won the Driedaagse van West-Vlanderen in March, winning one stage along the way.  Westra won the Arno Wallaard Monument and one stage in the Tour de Picardie, as well as the  overall title.

The Giro di Lombardia is traditionally the closing race of the European season.  First run in 1905, it favours climbers.  Damiano Cunego has won it the last two years.

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