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LPR Left Off UCI Wildcard List

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The UCI published its list of "wildcard teams," UCI Continental Pro teams who meet the standards for inclusion in the largest events such as the three Grand Tours and Pro Tour events such as the five Monuments of cycling. Thirteen teams made the grade, including higher-profile outfits like BMC, ISD, Barloworld, Cervelo Test Team, and Skil-Shimano, meaning their teams met the four criteria: sporting, legal, administrative and ethical. This makes them prime candidates for wildcard invitations.

The biggest names not making the cut were Team LPR, Agritubel and Acqua e Sapone. While not final, the decision likely leaves riders like Danilo DiLuca, Alessandro Petacchi, Stefano Garzelli, Christophe Moreau and Romain Feillu out in the cold. The likelihood of these teams receiving any major invites is not good. As a DiLuca fan, it's a little sad to know he may never get another shot at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and is on thin ice with the Giro d'Italia. No doubt Petacchi supporters are saying the same thing. In this one case, I wouldn't dismiss some sort of deal with the Giro, which won't lightly exclude a former champion and an all-time stage king, but the odds right now are against their inclusion. Stay tuned.

Update by Gav: French team Agritubel has Wednesday issued a statement confirming that they will pay the necessary cost of adhering to the bio-passport program. This decision will allow them to ride the major races such as Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, and the Tour de France. The cost to the team will run €7500 for each rider on their roster.