Mathieu van der Poel’s team invited to Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo

The Dutch superstar has been given a spot in the prestigious Italian races

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel’s team have been invited to race Strade-Bianche and Milan-San Remo, giving the superstar rider a place in the famed Italian races.

Van der Poel, a remarkable talent in cyclocross, mountain biking and road cycling, had planned to ride both one-day Classics but needed a formal invitation for his team to do so.

RCS, the race organiser behind the Giro d’Italia as well as Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, has published names of the teams given wildcard places in four of its six WorldTour races.

Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team will be able to race both one-day events but have not received an invitation to the Giro d’Italia.

In Milan-San Remo, Total Direct Energie and Circus-Wanty Gobert have both qualified for the event through their UCI points, while Alpecin-Fenix, Gazprom-Rusvelo, Arkéa-Samsic and Vini-Zabu-KTM have all been invited to race.

For Strade Bianche, Circus-Wanty Gobert have qualified by ranking and wildcard places went to Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF Faizanè, Alpecin-Fenix, B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, and Arkéa-Samsic.

For the Giro d’Italia, the wildcard places went to Italian Professional Continental outfits Androni, Bardiani, and Vini-Zabu-KTM.

Finally in Tirreno-Adriatico, Total Direct Energie will race thanks to their ranking, with Androni, Bardiani, Gazprom and Arkéa all filling out the wildcard places.

Van der Poel’s status as a superstar have given a huge boost to his Professional Continental team, ensuring them invitations to some of the biggest races.

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However the team had been angling for a Grand Tour ride this season, particularly the Vuelta a España, but it looks as though they may miss out on a three-week race this year, delaying Van der Poel’s Grand Tour debut.

But the 24-year-old is expected to be invited to all the major Classics, including the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race (which he won in unforgettable fashion last season) and Flèche Wallone.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for 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.