Changes to the under-23 Giro d’Italia means that national teams won’t be invited to compete in the nine-stage race next season.
The Italian Cycling Federation has approved rule changes for the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, also known as the Baby Giro, which means trade teams will be invited by the organisers, with national federations no longer fielding riders.
Brits put on an outstanding show in the 2019 edition, winning four stages with three riders - Ethan Hayter, Matt Walls and Alfred Wright - but British Cycling will have to rethink their approach next season.
A total of 29 teams will be invited to the 2020 edition, which runs from June 4-14, split between 15 Italian squads and 13 international teams and a potential regional team.
Teams will also be invited to race, replacing a qualifying points system that had been used, in order to stop teams over-racing from February to May to gain a spot.
Race director Marco Selleri said: “In the last three years the under-23 Giro d’Italia has allowd the Italian cycling movement to grow steadily, as demonstrated with the World Championship won by [Samuele] Battistella.
“Until 2019, foreign teams were selected an invited in advance, while among the Italian teams the selection ranking was drawn up in mid-May.”
According to The British Continental (opens in new tab), British Cycling coach Matt Brammeier has indicated that BC will attempt to enter the event under their academy trade squad, Team Inspired.
Another new addition to the rules is the fact that riders who have raced in WorldTour races in previous years will not be eligible to compete in the Baby Giro.
British riders were one of the dominant forces in this year’s edition, as Ethan Hayter won the opening two stages, Matt Walls taking the third and Alfred Wright claiming stage seven.
The Colombians were equally a force to be reckoned with, winning four stages and taking the overall with Andrés Ardila.
First held in 1970, the Baby Giro ran consistently through to 2005 and then sporadically up until 2017, when it was re-launched as an annual event.
Former winners include Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First) and Dario Cataldo (Astana).
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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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