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Zomegnan explains Giro d'Italia team invitations

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
March 07, 2011, 20:30 GMT,
Updated:
March 07, 2011, 20:31 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Race:
Giro d'Italia
Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan

Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan

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Team Type 1 was considered for one of the 23 places

Angelo Zomegnan, the director of the Giro d'Italia, dismissed suggestions that a peloton of 207 riders will make this year's race more dangerous.

He also explained the selection of the 23 teams, admitting he has little influence on which ProTeams he can and cannot invite but confirmed that the US-registered Team Type 1 Professional Continental squad had been considered for a place.

RCS Sport made a surprise announcement that 23 teams of nine riders have been invited to this year's Giro d'Italia, after being given permission by the UCI to exceed the 200 rider limit.

"There is a lot of debate about road safety at the moment but we've always paid huge attention to rider safety at the Giro and in all the races we organise," Zomegnan told Cyclingnews.

"Three years ago we introduced an extra race doctor that reaches the finish before the peloton in case there is a crash during the sprint. Our ambulances are also fitted with special equipment so that emergency crews can carry out blood tests before they arrive in hospital. The designated hospitals always have an operating room ready for emergency surgery."

Under a bilateral agreement with the UCI, race organisers have accepted that all of this year's 18 ProTeams have the right and obligation to ride all the World Tour races.

UCI to decide on Vacansoleil-DCM

There was some speculation that Vacansoleil-DCM might not be invited to the Giro d'Italia because of its problems with Riccardo Riccò and Ezequiel Mosquera. Zomegnan has refused to invite certain teams in the past but has backed down from playing what he described as a "policing role" regarding which teams ride the Giro.

"Vacansoleil is part of the ProTour and so has the right to a place at the Giro," Zomegnan told Cyclingnews. "Of course if things change and the UCI Licence Commission decides to review the status of the Vacansoleil team, we'll accept any decision they make and start the Giro with just 22 teams if necessary."

Zomegnan admitted he had considered giving Team Type 1 a place in this year's Giro d'Italia but suggested the US-based team needs another year of growth and development before deserving an invitation.

"It's a very interesting project and I've followed them closely but there was a lot of competition for places this year," he said. "I was pleased they performed well as a team at the Montepaschi Strade Bianche race on Saturday and I'll will keep my eye on them for 2012."

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