Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organisers of the Ardennes Classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, la Flèche Wallonne, announced the invitation of 25 teams to the April events on Friday. As anticipated, all of the ProTour squads except for Fuji-Servetto were on the list. The Fuji-Servetto team, formerly known as Saunier Duval, was forced to exit the Tour de France last year after the doping positive of Riccardo Riccò. In post-Tour analyses, Leónardo Piepoli was also declared positive for EPO CERA.
Fuji-Servetto was also left off the start list for Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo, but it won a spot in the latter Italian races, organised by RCS Sport, after appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Eight wild card teams were invited to round out the start list: The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, Barloworld, Skil-Shimano, Vacansoleil, Cervélo, Agritubel and Diquigiovanni teams.
As previously reported, the LPR Brakes Farnese Vini team of former Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne winner Danilo Di Luca did not receive an invitation.
Milram, Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Saxo Bank, Caisse d'Epargne, Euskaltel, Garmin, Columbia, AG2R-La Mondiale, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Française des Jeux, Lampre-NGC, Liquigas, Astana, Rabobank and Katusha make up the ProTour teams list.
Barloworld manager Claudio Corti was excited to receive the invitations. "We're very proud to have been invited to take part in Fleche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the news boosts our motivation and team spirit for the spring. We're pleased that ASO have put faith in us and we'll ride aggressively in both races," Corti said.
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