The levels of competition for wildcard slots at the Grand Excursions has become a lot more rigorous in 2021 soon after Alpecin-Fenix owner Christoph Roodhooft verified to Wielerflits that the squad will acquire up their berth in the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Alpecin-Fenix attained the ideal to contend in this year’s Grand Tours following successful the 2020 Europe Tour.
2019 Europe Tour winners Overall Immediate Energie took up their Tour and Vuelta areas but declined their computerized invitation to the Giro, which allowed organiser RCS Activity to assign 3 wildcard spots.
Alpecin-Fenix’s final decision suggests that the Tour, Giro and Vuelta will each individual have just two discretionary invites at their disposal in 2021. Opposition for spots at the Giro appears to be like established to be specifically powerful.
“We have determined that we’re heading to get started in the 3 Grand Excursions,” Roodhooft told Wielerflits. “In addition to the Tour de France, with Fenix as an Italian title sponsor, it really is logical that we are going to be riding the Giro in any case. And the Vuelta has also been added to our programme in the meantime.”
Alpecin-Fenix didn’t ride any Grand Tour in 2020, and their determination to just take up their position means that some of very last year’s participating groups are established to pass up out this period.
French ProTeams Whole Direct Energie, Arkéa-Samsic and B&B Accommodations p/b KTM are vying for the two remaining Tour de France berths. Belgian squad Intermarché Wanty Gobert have presently secured their return to the Tour in 2021 after obtaining the defunct CCC Team’s WorldTour licence.
In 2020, RCS Sport dispersed its 3 Giro wildcards to Italian squads Androni-Sidermec, Vini Zabù-KTM and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè. All those three groups will compete for the two destinations at RCS Sport’s disposal this 12 months, while Gazprom-RusVelo and EOLO-Kometa have also signalled their fascination in using the 2021 Giro.
At the 2020 Vuelta, Complete Immediate Energie were joined by wildcard picks Burgos BH and Caja Rural–Seguros RGA as a few non-WorldTour teams.
Alpecin-Fenix leader Mathieu van der Poel has already verified that he will make his Tour de France debut in 2021, telling Sporza: “I assume I owe it to the sponsors to take part in the Tour.” The Tour of Flanders winner also intends to experience the mountain bicycle occasion at the Tokyo Olympics shortly afterwards.
Roodhooft was uncertain no matter if Alpecin-Fenix would select all of their strongest riders for the Tour or balance their leaders throughout the 3 Grand Excursions. The team’s new arrivals for 2021 incorporate Silvan Dillier and Jasper Philipsen, although Tim Merlier stays at the squad alongside Van der Poel.
“What I do know is that in the Tour we intention to be absolutely invisible some days and try to be the centre of interest for some others,” Roodhooft said. “That appears to be to me to be the only possibility for achievements. And I’m hopeful that we can triumph.”