Giro scorecard, please.
As always, a few surprises from Giro boss and impresario Angelo Zomegnan. Everything is drama and spectacle for Zomegnan, from the sexy girl route presentations to the team invitations.
But first, the no-surprise. The team of World Champion Cadel Evans, BMC is in. Evans had been vocal about riding the Giro to win and his early season results did much to advance the case that BMC would put on a show.
The big surprise was the inclusion of consistent dope squad Androni Giocattoli. Logic was just defied, insulted, maybe even slapped silly. Last Friday, Zomegnan said he would “quarantine” riders coming off doping suspensions and not allow them into his beloved Giro.
“In the past we’ve put our trust in a lot of riders by inviting them to our races when their suspensions had just ended. Yet they didn’t pay us back for the faith we showed in them because they quickly made the same mistakes,” said Zomegnan.
If the selection criteria is avoiding “the same mistakes,” then any team under the direction of Gianni Savio, currently the boss at Androni Giocattoli, is seriously open to question. Most likely by the police, UCI and WADA.
Less than two weeks ago, the team’s Massimo Giunti was suspended for EPO. Last year Francesco de Bonis tested positive for EPO in the first stage of the 2009 Giro d’Italia. That would be the race that Zomegnan runs.
Savio’s list of doped riders includes Davide Rebellin (CERA EPO), Giuseppe Muraglia (Growth Hormone) and Danilo Hando (Carphedon). As always, Savio’s reaction is shock and dismay. The real shock is how this team made the start list of a grand tour.
If Zomegnan doesn’t want Riccardo Ricco and Ceramica Flaminia embarrassing his Giro, you wonder how Androni Giocattoli crawled in. This kind of invite can only be secured by sending beautiful girls to a certain hotel room and a suitcase of cash in a certain car trunk. There can be no other explanation.
Dutch mis-treated. Also missing the Giro will be Vacansoleil and Skil-Shimano. The two Dutch teams battled each other for the last month in an attempt to win a spot. Sorry, fellas, you both lost. We will miss the team of the Sunny Vacationers. Hey, next time, do things the old school way: Zomegnan likes his ladies.
However, it was good news for the Bbox Bouygues Telecom squad. After a strong Paris-Nice, the B-b-boys, did what they had to do to lock down a spot. Crank the beat box, you’re riding the Giro.
In a mad, last-ditched attempt, Michael Ball tried to gain a Giro invitation for his top ranked Amateur squad Rock Racing. Negoiations fell through when Giro organizers could not agree on sizes for the $200 jeans.
So let’s keep you updated. No Ricco, no Radio Shack, yes on BMC, no on drag queens, yes, on dope squad Androni Giocattoli, no on Rock Racing.
Here is the complete list for the 2010 Giro d’Italia.
Lampre Farnese Vini
Sky Pro Cycling Team
Acqua & Sapone
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
BMC Racing Team
Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne