The organisers of the Amstel Gold Race today announced the final five teams which will compete in the April 19 Classic. Former winners Davide Rebellin and Stefan Schumacher, both with CCC Polkowice Sprandi, will have another chance at victory on the Valkenburg, as will 2008 champion Damiano Cunego, whose Nippo-Vini Fantini team earned a nod.
“I’m really happy to have this opportunity for me and the team," Cunego said. "This year I will take part in two races of the north in Belgium and Holland, the Vuelta Limburg and the Amstel Gold Race. I will approach this period at my best, because it is a race I have in my heart."
Other teams invited are Italian squad Bardiani-CSF, the Danish Cult Energy team and South African outfit MTN-Qhubeka.
The teams will join the 17 WorldTour squads as well as previously announced wild card invitees Team Roompot, Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
CCC Polkowice Sprandi animated the race least year, putting Jaroslaw Marycz in the breakaway, while Rebellin finished 13th in the sprint behind winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC). Team director Piotr Wadecki hopes to have another step forward in this year's race.
"We are very proud that the organizers decided that we are worth receiving wild card invitation and we will again take part in this race," Wadecki said. "This year we want to improve that result. We will also try to be active and we want to be remembered from that race in a best possible way."
Cult Energy manager Michael Skelde echoed the sentiments calling the selection "an acknowledgement and recognition of us from the organizers".
"We are a small team compared to our opponents but I believe that Fabian (Wegmann) will be able to pull a top-10 result and that will be our goal besides from keep racing aggressively like we usually do. In addition, we have a young and talented Rasmus Guldhammer in our team and Amstel Gold Race will be a race for him in the years to come. I truly believe he has the talent and the power to be a contender for the win in a few years’ time," Skelde said.