Italian champ absent from Giro teams list
Italian national road champion Filippo Simeoni, who famously had a run-in with Lance Armstrong during the 2004 Tour de France, is not among the riders invited to this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Simeoni’s Flaminia Bossini team was not on the preliminary list of 20 teams announced Wednesday. Other teams absent from the initial list include Cofidis, Euskaltel, Française des Jeux and Fuji, formerly Saunier Duval.
The Fuji squad — hampered by last year’s doping scandals involving former riders Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli, both of whom were sacked — has also been denied starts at RCS Sport’s other events, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.
Two more teams may yet be invited, RCS Sport said.
Armstrong and his Astana team will be among those taking the start as the centenary Giro kicks off May 9 in Venice, though defending champ Alberto Contador will skip this year’s edition to focus on the Tour.
The Giro ends May 31 in Rome.
Teams for the 2009 Giro d’Italia (preliminary)
Acqua & Sapone-Caffe’ Mokambo (I)
Ag2r La Mondiale (F)
Bbox Bouygues Telecom (F)
Caisse D’Epargne (Sp)
Cervélo Test Team (Swi)
LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini (Irl)
Quick Step (B)
Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni–Androni Giocattoli (Ven)
Team Columbia–High Road (USA)
Team Katusha (Rus)
Team Milram (G)
Xacobeo Galicia (Sp)