Giro 2016 wild cards

The wild cards for the 2016 Giro are announced:

Bardiani-CSF
Southeast-Venezuela
Nippo-Vini Fantini
Gazprom-Rusvelo

The first three make sense but Gazprom-Rusvelo surprises me as one of the weaker Pro-continental teams. Of course they have the Gazprom money the only reason I can imagine for inviting the team.
 
GP Blanco said:
The first three make sense but Gazprom-Rusvelo surprises me as one of the weaker Pro-continental teams. Of course they have the Gazprom money the only reason I can imagine for inviting the team.
This pretty much. I was expecting Roompot...
This evening I'll start my traditional Giro Field thread :p
 
GP Blanco said:
The wild cards for the 2016 Giro are announced:

Bardiani-CSF
Southeast-Venezuela
Nippo-Vini Fantini
Gazprom-Rusvelo

The first three make sense but Gazprom-Rusvelo surprises me as one of the weaker Pro-continental teams. Of course they have the Gazprom money the only reason I can imagine for inviting the team.
You guys.... It's obvious Cannondale are dragging them along so Gazprom can fuel Ryder's bike!
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Gasprom? That's a rather unusual choice, what will they do, help Zakarin?
They don't have big names and are one of the weaker pro-conti teams.
On another note, is Aydar Zakarin Illnur's little brother?
 
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Mayomaniac said:
Gasprom? That's a rather unusual choice, what will they do, help Zakarin?
They don't have big names and are one of the weaker pro-conti teams.
On another note, is Aydar Zakarin Illnur's little brother?
Yes, Aydar is the younger brother. I was hoping for CCC in the Giro
 
It's about time the Giro gets sold to Discovery. Certainly the invitation of Gazprom ain't got nothing to do with sporting quality, but with big cash only!

CCC, Roompot & Androni all would've been much better choices.

It's a disgrace. A pure joke, pals!
 
Jun 30, 2014
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BalearicBeats said:
I'm very interested how this will play out between Katusha and Rusvelo! Will they help each other?
Of course, more domestiques for Zakarin, but at least now they should know that the can't just exchange wheels. :D
 
Jun 30, 2014
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scrooll07 said:
Zakarin with 19 helpers,could he do something bigger?
Yes, last year he peaked for Romandie and went stagehunting in his first gt. This year he'll go for the gc, so we can expect big things from Soviet Froome.
 
Rusvelo invitation does not make any other sense except for money making for the organizer. In fact, Giro has had tendency to make such decisions recently - the same was arguably the case also behind NetApp and CCC Sprandi invitations.
But at least those other teams tried to participate also in some other high profile races prior to starting the Grand Tour in order to justify their participation also on sporting merits, while as GP Blanco pointed out, Rusvelo did not participate in any WT race in 2015, and it is not yet scheduled to my knowledge to race any WT race this year either. In 2015 I found only 3 .HC stage races they took part in: Trentino, Belgium and Qinghai Lake. How can they even be sure that they have riders who can handle a Grand Tour?
Makes no sense, at all... And Gazprom is not even (yet?) listed among the sponsors of the race. The new big sponsor of the race is Enel, but I can not find any meaningful connection with Gazprom there. The strongest link I can find between the Giro and Rusvelo is Colnago bikes...
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Amsterdam is home to the head office of Gazprom International for finiancial reasons, so there's at lest some kind of connection with the Netherlands.
I'm more surprised about Gazprom sponsoring a cycling team, isn't the company almost collapsing because of the low oil price and the weak ruble?
 
Re:

PeterB said:
Rusvelo invitation does not make any other sense except for money making for the organizer. In fact, Giro has had tendency to make such decisions recently - the same was arguably the case also behind NetApp and CCC Sprandi invitations.
But at least those other teams tried to participate also in some other high profile races prior to starting the Grand Tour in order to justify their participation also on sporting merits, while as GP Blanco pointed out, Rusvelo did not participate in any WT race in 2015, and it is not yet scheduled to my knowledge to race any WT race this year either. In 2015 I found only 3 .HC stage races they took part in: Trentino, Belgium and Qinghai Lake. How can they even be sure that they have riders who can handle a Grand Tour?
.
Money usually has something to do with it when unexpected or less than obvious teams get GT wildcards, as you note. But it's hard to come up with a more bizarre invitation in recent years.

NetApp, for instance were not really that strange an invitation in retrospect - they were a small team when they were first invited to the Giro, but they were clearly ambitious and have been in a GT every year since. CCC were on the face of it a bit stranger, but they have devoted a lot of time and effort to buttering up RCS and focusing on the Giro. Both teams race a calendar involving quite a few other WT races as well.

Rusvelo though? As strange as inviting the Linda McCartney Team.

I don't actually like the nearly automatic selection teams get for their home GT (or the automatic selection Cofidis gets for the Vuelta), and generally approve of the organisers mixing it up a little. By which I mean inviting most of the local teams and then some other team or teams that has made a big effort to qualify. Not ditching a local team and ignoring teams that have made that effort so that the organisers can cash a cheque.
 
No matter how rough times may be for them, I don't think they'll mind the 2 or 3 million usd they sink into this project. It's huuuge. State owned company aswell so chances of it going belly up are rather slim I think. Not that the financial world is anywhere near my expertise:p
 

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