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2008 Giro Teams Announced – Astana and High Road Snubbed

February 3, 2008 – RCS Sport, the organizer of the the Giro d’Italia, has released the 21 teams invited to take part in the 3,423.8km grand tour, to be held May 10-June 1, 2008 – see complete list below. Astana, High Road (formerly T-Mobile), Credit Agricole and Bouygues Telecom were not invited to the 2008 Giro reports AFP. The selection criteria included “ethics, quality, internationalism and relationship history with RCS Sport,” reports Canadian Press.

Both Astana and High Road were plagued by some high profile sports doping affairs in 2007. Astana notably withdrew from the 2007 TdF after former team captain Alexander Vinokourov tested positive for blood doping. But Astana, a very different team under new management in 2008, claimed it was stunned by the decision.

Adding to the controversy is that the invited teams include Lampre for whom 2007 Giro winner, Danilo Di Luca rides. Di Luca is currently serving a three-month suspension for a doping related offence.

Among the top foreign teams that did receive invitations are: Caisse d’Epargne (Spain), Cofidis (France); Gerolsteiner (Germany); Quick Step (Belgium); Rabobank (Netherlands); Slipstream (United States) and Team CSC (Denmark).

The big question is what will happen at the 2008 Tour de France, the world’s most prestigious bike race? Recent comments by Patrice Clerc, the president of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) which organizes the TdF, suggest he is thinking along similar lines as RCS Sport. He said that selection is based on the teams rather than individual riders and that ASO needs time to calmly make a decision. This raises the possibility that defending champion, Alberto Contador (Astana) will not be in the 2008 start line-up.

2008 Giro d’Italia Teams

– Ag2R-La Mondiale
– Barloworld
– Caisse D’Epargne
– Cofidis
– CSF Group-Navigare
– Diquigiovanni-Androni
– Euskaltel Euskadi
– Francaise Des Jeux
– Gerolsteiner
– Lampre
– Liquigas
– LPR Brakes
– NGC Medical-OTC
– Quick Step
– Rabobank
– Saunier Duval-Scott
– Silence-Lotto
– Slipstream
– Team CSC
– Team Milram
– Tinkoff

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