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Vuelta a España wildcards announced

The 2011 Vuelta a Espana

The 2011 Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: Unipublic)

Vuelta a España organisers have announced the four teams that will be awarded wildcard invitations to the race. Geox-TMC, Skil-Shimano, Cofidis and Andalucia Caja Granada will join the 18 pre-selected WorldTour teams in the race, which begins in Benidorm on August 20.

Unipublic have also taken the measure of listing Caja Rural as a reserve team, in the event that one of the 22 invited teams is forced to withdraw from the race.

“If, for whatever reason, a team cannot participate in the 2011 Vuelta a España, and the organiser decides to replace it with another team, this place would be occupied, provided that time allows it, by the Pro Continental team Caja Rural,” read a statement from Unipublic.

The organisers have also reserved the right to modify the list of invited teams in light of the “ethical responsibilities and sporting qualities of the participants.”

Perhaps the most high-profile team to miss out on an invitation is FDJ. The French squad took a stage last year though Yauheni Hutarovich, but after failing to secure a ProTeam licence for 2011 they were reliant on a wildcard slot this time around.

2011 Vuelta a España teams:

Omega Pharma-Lotto (Bel)
Quickstep Cycling Team (Bel)
Saxo Bank Sungard (Den)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Ag2R La Mondiale (Fra)
Sky Procycling (GBr)
Lampre - ISD (Ita)
Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita)
Pro Team Astana (Kaz)
Team Leopard - Trek (Lux)
Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned)
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
Katusha Team (Rus)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
HTC-Highroad (USA)
Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA)
Team Radioshack (USA)
Andalucia Caja Granada (Spa)*
Geox-TMC (Spa)*
Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne (Fra)*
Skil-Shimano (Ned)*

* indicates wildcard selection