The competitors for wildcard slots at the Grand Tours has come to be far more rigorous in 2021 after Alpecin-Fenix operator Christoph Roodhooft verified to Wielerflits that the squad will get up their berth in the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Alpecin-Fenix acquired the ideal to compete in this year’s Grand Excursions just after successful the 2020 Europe Tour.
2019 Europe Tour winners Complete Direct Energie took up their Tour and Vuelta sites but declined their automated invitation to the Giro, which permitted organiser RCS Sport to assign three wildcard spots.
Alpecin-Fenix’s final decision indicates that the Tour, Giro and Vuelta will just about every have just two discretionary invitations at their disposal in 2021. Competitiveness for places at the Giro appears to be set to be particularly extreme.
“We’ve resolved that we are going to commence in the 3 Grand Excursions,” Roodhooft advised Wielerflits. “In addition to the Tour de France, with Fenix as an Italian title sponsor, it really is rational that we are going to be using the Giro in any case. And the Vuelta has also been added to our programme in the meantime.”
Alpecin-Fenix didn’t trip any Grand Tour in 2020, and their final decision to just take up their place implies that some of very last year’s taking part groups are set to pass up out this time.
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French ProTeams Whole Immediate Energie, Arkéa-Samsic and B&B Resorts p/b KTM are vying for the two remaining Tour de France berths. Belgian squad Intermarché Wanty Gobert have now secured their return to the Tour in 2021 right after purchasing the defunct CCC Team’s WorldTour licence.
In 2020, RCS Activity dispersed its 3 Giro wildcards to Italian squads Androni-Sidermec, Vini Zabù-KTM and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè. These a few groups will compete for the two destinations at RCS Sport’s disposal this yr, although Gazprom-RusVelo and EOLO-Kometa have also signalled their desire in driving the 2021 Giro.
At the 2020 Vuelta, Complete Direct Energie ended up joined by wildcard picks Burgos BH and Caja Rural–Seguros RGA as 3 non-WorldTour groups.
Alpecin-Fenix leader Mathieu van der Poel has currently verified that he will make his Tour de France debut in 2021, telling Sporza: “I feel I owe it to the sponsors to take part in the Tour.” The Tour of Flanders winner also intends to ride the mountain bike party at the Tokyo Olympics shortly later on.
Roodhooft was not sure regardless of whether Alpecin-Fenix would find all of their strongest riders for the Tour or balance their leaders across the 3 Grand Excursions. The team’s new arrivals for 2021 contain Silvan Dillier and Jasper Philipsen, whilst Tim Merlier continues to be at the squad alongside Van der Poel.
“What I do know is that in the Tour we goal to be completely invisible some times and check out to be the centre of awareness for other folks,” Roodhooft mentioned. “That seems to me to be the only prospect for achievement. And I’m hopeful that we can do well.”