The boss of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has vented his frustration after his squad was left out of the 2021 Giro d’Italia.
Gianni Savio, the long-standing manager of Italian ProTeam Androni, says “if I have to live in an unfair system I don’t know if I want to continue,” after the organisers of the Giro announced the list of teams competing in this year’s edition.
While Alpecin-Fenix have qualified to race as the best-ranked UCI ProTeam, organiser RCS Sport extended wild card invitations to three other Italian ProTeams, but left Androni out in the cold.
Savio has vented his anger at the decision not to invite his team, attacking rival team Vini Zabu in the process.
In an interview with OA Sport (opens in new tab), Savio said: “If they had invited Eolo-Kometa, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè, with Arkéa Samsic, we wouldn't have said anything, we would have taken note of it. Eolo is a world-class power, legitimately entered into cycling as a sponsor of RCS racing, Bardiani has a greater historicity than ours and then conducted an excellent signing campaign with Giovanni Visconti and Enrico Battaglin.
“[Vini Zabu] lost the best riders, they have has always been inferior to us both in the UCI World Ranking and in the Ciclismo Cup, they haven't launched any young riders.”
Savio also pointed out that a Vini Zabu rider was kicked off the 2020 Giro d’Italia after testing positive for a drug that reduced muscle atrophy - Matteo Spreafico of the Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM ProTeam returned two Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) on stage 12 and 13 of the Giro d’Italia on October 15 and 16.
Androni have been a regular feature in the Italian Grand Tour, winning a stage of the 2019 edition with Fausto Masnada and constantly being the aggressors in last year’s race.
Savio and the team also publicly supported the Giro d’Italia race director Mauro Vegni after a number of WorldTour teams threatened to strike and withdraw from the race in 2020.
The team has also helped kickstart the careers of a number of hugely successful talents and promising riders, most notably 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal, his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Ivan Sosa, and Fausto Masnada who now races for Deceuninck - Quick-Step.
Savio added: “If I have to live in an unfair system that makes shameful choices, well, I don't know if I want to continue . I will evaluate it. I'm not saying I'll quit cycling, but I'm not saying I'll continue either.
“If this system is based on shameful decisions, I don't know if I will continue to be interested in staying there. There is something wrong.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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