If the users of the Cyclingnews forum could issue wildcard invitations, then three Italilan teams and a Colombian team would receive the wildcard inviations to this year's Giro d'Italia. The list of teams which was voted on did not, however, include all 14 of the teams announced by RCS Sport earlier this week.
Androni Giacttoli, Colombia Coldeportes, Acqua & Sapone and Farnese Vini were the four lucky “winners”, handily beating all other possibilities. Giro organisers will announce their final selection on January 10.
Androni was the clear top favourite, with 85 votes. It features Jose Rujano, who finished third in the race in 2005 and also won a stage and the mountains jersey. He also won a stage in 2011. “I think that Androni must be assured of a place as they have one of the favourites alongwith a whole raft of top climbers (serpa, sella etc),” said user Froome19.
Acqua & Sapone and Colombia Coldeportes tied for second place, with 69 votes each. The Italian team seems an obvious choice because it boasts two former Giro winners. “Acqua have Di Luca and Garzelli, two former winners who can be relied upon to go for stage wins and KOM titles at least, plus an emerging star in Carlos Betancourt,” said will10.
But Colombia-Coldeportes also seems a clear-cut choice for a mountainous Giro, with its many climbers. “A lot of the Colombians will be rookies when it comes to riding a GT, but I don't think they will be short of entertainment and trying to get in breaks and get a stage win in the mountain stages, and Colombia has a proud cycling history,” said Craig1985.
Farnese Vini was the final choice of the forum users. Ferminal picked them because of “A highly promising sprinter in Guardini and a superstar (albeit slightly fallen one) in Pozzato.”
While most of the forum users picked the more traditional choices, at last one user was ready for a change. Just one guy said, “I hope they break the mold same for all grand tours invite less of the home country teams and a greater amount of the best teams from wherever they come from.”