As expected, organisers of the Giro d'Italia have opted for a strong Italian flavour in its wildcard selections for the 9 May 2014 race.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

RCS Sport handed the invites to Bardiani CSF, Southeast, Androni Giocattoli, Nippo Vini Fantini and Polish team CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

Of the teams the rebranded Southeast is a particularly controversial selection. Formerly know as Neri Sottoli-Ale, it was responsible for several recent doping positives, including Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio at the 2013 Giro and Matteo Rabottini in an out of competition test late in 2014.

The five wildcards will join seventeen automatically selected WorldTour teams, AG2R, Astana, BMC, Etixx-QuickStep, FDJ, IAM, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Soudal, Movistar, Orica-GreenEDGE, Cannondale-Garmin, Giant Alpecin, Katusha, LottoNL-Jumbo, Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing.

"As per every previous year, we reflected deeply on the wildcard choices; an increasingly meticulous process thanks to the quality of the teams that want to participate in our races," said Giro d'Italia race director Mauro Vegni.

"This year's choices, especially for the wildcards of the Giro d'Italia, were dictated by the opportunity to support the Italian cycling movement, giving continuity to an overall process without ever losing sight of the goal of international development in strategic territories."

At the same event RCS Sport also announced wildcard selections for the Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and Giro di Lombardia races, which it also controls.

Organisers broadened the selections in those events, with Bora-Argon 18 (GER), Colombia (COL), MTN-Qhubeka (RSA), Europcar (FRA), Cofidis (FRA), Novo Nordisk (USA) and Unitedhealthcare (USA) in the mix with the Italian teams.

Bardiani CSF, Bora-Argon 18, Colombia, MTN-Qhubeka and Europcar will ride at Tirreno-Adriatico before joining Androni Giocattoli, Cofidis, CCC Sprandi and Novo Nordisk at Milan-San Remo.

Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani, Bora-Argon 18, CCC Sprandi, Colombia, Nippo Vini Fantini, Southeast and Unitedhealthcare will ride in October's Giro di Lombardia.

SBS and Cycling Central will broadcast and livestream stages of the 9 May- 1 June 2015 Giro d'Italia. Details to be be announced soon.