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The organisers of the Giro d’Italia have announced that Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will replace Vini Zabù as the fourth wildcard team of the race after the Tuscan ProTeam withdrew and self-suspended its activities to carry out an internal investigation after Matteo De Bonis’ positive test for EPO. 

It was the team’s second doping case in 12 months and so they faced a ban from racing of 15 to 45 days under UCI rules.

In a brief statement, RCS Sport said: “Following Vini Zabù’s decision to drop out from the Giro d’Italia, RCS Sport has reassigned one of the three wildcards to Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec.” 

Androni Giocattoli missed out on a wildcard place earlier this year after RCS Sport snubbed Gianni Savio’s squad and gave the coveted wildcard places to Eolo-Kometa, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Vini Zabù. 

Alpecin-Fenix secured an automatic invitation thanks to topping the 2020 ProTeam rankings. The 19 WorldTour teams, meanwhile, are all automatically invited.

The 2021 Giro d’Italia begins with a time trial in Turin on Saturday, May 8 and ends in Milan on Sunday, May 30.

Vini Zabù had self-suspended from all racing and on Thursday morning the team and sponsor announced it would not try to ride the Corsa Rosa

“The team and the main sponsor Vini Zabù have decided to give an important message to the world of cycling, to teach those athletes who still think they can take shortcuts by cheating,” read a press release issued by the team.

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec enjoyed a positive outing at the race last year, taking the breakaway prize with Mattia Bais and the intermediate sprint prize with Simon Pellaud. They last won a stage with Fausto Masnada at San Giovanni Rotondo in 2019.

SOURCE: CyclingNews   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Stephen Farrand
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