Polti Kometa, Tudor Pro Cycling and Bardiani receive Giro d'Italia wildcards

Lotto Dstny turn down automatic invite, leaving three wildcard slots and a Grand Tour debut for Fabian Cancellara's Tudor

Clock10:55, Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Primož Roglič snatched the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas at the last opportunity in 2023

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Primož Roglič snatched the pink jersey from Geraint Thomas at the last opportunity in 2023

After not being offered a wildcard for the 2024 Tour de France, Fabian Cancellara's Tudor Pro Cycling squad have received a highly sought-after wildcard invitation to this year's Giro d'Italia. They will be joined by Alberto Contador's Team Polti Kometa, who will return to the race for a fourth successive season.

Read more: Giro d’Italia 2024 route revealed

Israel-Premier Tech have accepted their automatic invitation to ride the Giro, given their performance as a UCI ProTeam in 2023, but fellow ProTeam high-flyer Lotto Dstny have declined the opportunity to ride in Italy. Much like last season, the Belgian team will instead prioritise gathering UCI points in smaller stage races.

Lotto Dstny's absence has allowed the Giro's organisers, RCS Sport, to hand out three wildcard slots to this year's race. Joining Team Polti Kometa and Tudor Pro Cycling on the startlist will be the long-standing Italian outfit, VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè.

These four sides will join the 18 UCI WorldTeams at the Grande Partenza in Turin on 4 May. Among the star-studded lineup that is expected to take to the Giro will be race debutants Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step), both of whom have made their ambitions clear.

Read more:

Both VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè and Team Polti Kometa are no strangers to the Giro d'Italia, with the former's history with the race dating back to their time as Termolan in 1982. Since their founding year, the Italian side have won many stages of the Giro through the likes of Patrizio Gamirasio (1988), Stefano Allochio (1990), Julio Alberto Pérez (2001, 2002), Brett Lancaster (2005) and most recently, Giulio Ciccone (2016).

Polti Kometa, meanwhile, won a famous stage atop Monte Zoncolan in 2021 through the young Lorenzo Fortunato, in what was a Grand Tour debut for Contador's side. The name Polti, of course, is synonymous with the team that won the points and Intergiro classifications through Djamolidine Abdoujaparov in 1994.

"Teams like ours have been talking about wild cards since the pre-season training camps," said Polti Kometa team manager and former Giro d'Italia winner, Ivan Basso. "To receive the invitation to the Giro and other prestigious events is a source of great pride, a reward for our continuity and our way of tackling the races beyond the results.

"The Giro will be the centrepiece of the entire Polti Kometa calendar and we will ride it with the right mentality: attacking but in an organised way, to take advantage of every opportunity and reward the organisers, the fans, the sponsors… and ourselves for the trust placed in us".

It will be in Polti Kometa that Tudor Pro Cycling seeks inspiration in their first Grand Tour. The Swiss ProTeam have high ambitions and recently signed the likes of Matteo Trentin, Michael Storer and Alberto Dainese to bolster their ranks.

Read more: Matteo Trentin hopeful of Giro d’Italia wildcard for Tudor Pro Cycling

Tuesday's announcement does, however, rule out a Giro d'Italia start for the much-beloved GW Shimano-Sidermec team of Gianni Savio.

Startlists announced for Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo

Alongside last week's UAE Tour route unveiling and Tuesday's Giro d'Italia startlist announcement, RCS Sport has also revealed the teams for its other high-profile WorldTour races in Italy, namely Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo.

All three races will be made up of 25 teams of seven riders each, giving plenty of free slots for teams outside of the 18 UCI WorldTeams.

For Tirreno-Adriatico, this means Israel-Premier Tech, Team Polti Kometa, VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè and Tudor Pro Cycling will grace the startline, all of whom will be testing their level ahead of the Giro. Additionally, the race organisers have offered wildcard invites to Uno-X Mobility, Q36.5 Pro Cycling and the recently-renamed Corratec-Vini Fantini.

Uno-X Mobility are riding high after being offered a wildcard spot in the Tour de France earlier this week, whilst their performances last season have also offered them an automatic spot at Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, owing to their ranking position.

Read more: Uno-X Mobility and TotalEnergies return to 2024 Tour de France as wildcards

Automatic qualification will also see Israel-Premier Tech line up at all RCS races and offer Lotto Dstny a berth at Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo.

Alongside Israel-Premier Tech, both Team Polti Kometa and Tudor Pro Cycling will line up at all four major races, whilst VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè will miss Strade Bianche. In their place, Q36.5 Pro Cycling and Corratec-Vini Fantini will take to the white roads of Tuscany, with the former also to be expected at Milan-San Remo.

For all the important information about the 2024 Giro d'Italia, be sure to check out our dedicated race hub.

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