Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio is continuing his fight to ensure his riders start the 100th Giro d'Italia. Savio has described the non-invitation of his Pro Continental team to the 100th edition of Corsa Rosa as the "biggest injustice of his career".
Although Giro d'Italia race director Mauro Vegni has all but 'killed off' the bid for a combined Italian team of four Androni Giocattoli, and four Nippo-Vini Fantini riders as Savio suggested, he is continuing to make a claim for inclusion.
Speaking to Cyclingnews at the recent Tour de Langkawi, Savio outlined his team's early season results as further evidence of the 'injustice' of missing the Giro.
"We had results in Venezuela at the Vuelta al Táchira, we won the first stage. We had three podiums at Tour de San Juan, Egan Bernal first in the young rider classification, the team second in the team classification after Bahrain-Merida and Rodolfo Torres third overall. So this is a big, big injustice," Savio told Cyclingnews. "This is the biggest injustice in my 33 years of professional cycling."
The veteran team manager added that he assembled what he believes to be one of his best Grand Tour squads to date with a balance of youth and experience. Savio added that should none of his riders make the start list of the Giro, "it will be the first time in 33 years that I won't attend."
When the wild card announcement for the Giro d'Italia was made in January, with Italian squads Wilier Triestina and Bardiani CSF, invited alongside CCC Sprandi Polkowice and Gazprom-Rusvelo, sponsor Mario Androni threatened to end his sponsorship of the team. However, Savio explained that whether or not he had riders in the Giro, the team's future is secure.
"I will continue. There are some rumours the team will disappear, but that will not happen. For sure, 100 per cent I continue. I don't know if we continue as Androni Giocattoli but Sidermec, the second sponsor have confirmed and Lauretana, the water company, confirmed as well," he said. "I think that Androni told me that he wouldn't continue because he was angry with this big injustice, but I think I can maybe convince him."
Should Savio be successful in persuading RCS to include a mixed squad, it would not a first. At the 1995 Tour de France, Savio's ZG Mobili team fielded a mixed squad in conjunction with Team Telekom.
While Savio continues his fight for Giro inclusion, Androni Giocattoli will ride Tirreno-Adriatico this week and Milan-San Remo later in the month - both organised by RCS Sport - where he is sure to further build his case.