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Israel Cycling Academy gets Giro bid, as RCS announces wildcard teams

RCS Sport announced on Saturday its selection of wild card teams that will participate at four out of its five UCI WorldTour races — Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and the Giro d’Italia.

As expected, Israel Cycling Academy is heading to the Giro d’Italia which starts in Israel. It is the team’s first year at the Pro Continental level and they will look for a strong showing at the Giro with the opening three days of the race in the team’s home nation.

The Italian Pro Continental teams were anxiously awaiting to see if they made the cut for the Giro. The publicity that comes with racing Italy’s biggest race is vital to obtaining sponsors, as well as bringing on new ones.

Bardiani-CSF, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, and Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia were granted invitations with Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europe Ovini left out. Bardiani-CSF’s invitation was in doubt after the team had two riders test positive for testosterone mere days before the 2017 race, but they still got into the 2018 race.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec missed the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Giro but ended the season ranked first in the 2017 Italian Cup classification. The Giro usually invites the winner of the classification to the race the following year and thus, its entry into the 2018 race comes as no surprise.

Though it didn’t gain entry into the Giro for 2018, Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini will race Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Milano-Sanremo.

RCS said the Il Lombardia wild card teams will be announced later in the season after the organization evaluates all the results of the teams that have requested participation in the race.

Full list of wildcard teams

Strade Bianche (March 3)
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini

Tirreno-Adriatico (March 7-13)
Gazprom-Rusvelo
Israel Cycling Academy
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia

Milano-Sanremo (March 17)
Bardiani-CSF
Cofidis Solutions Credits
Gazprom-Rusvelo
Israel Cycling Academy
Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
Team Novo Nordisk
Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia

Giro d’Italia (May 4-27)
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
Bardiani-CSF
Israel Cycling Academy
Wilier Triestini-Selle Italia

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