Direct Energie, Southeast picked as Tour of Flanders wildcards

The organisers of the Tour of Flanders announced six wildcard teams that have been invited to the 100th edition of the race along with the 18 WorldTour squads. Belgian teams Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise and Wanty-Groupe Gobert made the list, as did Roompot-Oranje Peloton.

2011 Tour of Flanders runner-up Sylvain Chavanel's Direct Energie team made the cut with Bora-Argon 18, as did the Italian Southeast-Venezuela squad of the 2012 runner-up Filippo Pozzato. CCC Polkowice Sprandi rounded out the six.

"We are very proud to be among 25 teams, which have been invited to compete in this race. It’s a legendary event and we will do our best to put on great performance," said CCC Sprandi Polkowice director Piotr Wadecki. The team was also invited to Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the Tour de Pologne, but will not be racing in the Giro d'Italia.

"This year we decided not to apply for Giro d’Italia invitation and focus on prestigious one-day and weeklong races in the first part of the season. Our goal is to participate in the Tour de France one day and we believe that the only way to do it is to prove ourselves in the big races, such as Ronde van Vlaanderen. This season we have two confirmed invitations from ASO – Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman - and we hope that that list will improve in the future."

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