Giro d'Italia wildcards for EOLO-Kometa, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli

Giro organisers RCS announce 22 teams that will line up in Budapest in May

Giro d'Italia
The three wildcard teams at the 2021 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

EOLO-Kometa, Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli have been handed wildcard spots for the Giro d'Italia.

The three Italian ProTeams have been added to the startlist for the race which begins in Hungary on 6 May alongside the 18 WorldTour teams and Alpecin-Fenix, who gained automatic entry thanks to their position as the best ranked ProTeam last year.

It means the same 22 teams will take part in the Giro this year as in 2021, with the exception of Qhubekha-Assos, which no longer exists as a WorldTour team.

EOLO-Kometa, the team run by Alberto Contador, his brother Fran and Ivan Basso, took part in the Giro for the first time last year and won a stage through Lorenzo Fortunato. Francesco Gavazzi also finished second on stage eight, marking an impressive first grand tour for the fledgling team.

Bardiani and Drone Hopper both have longer histories of participating at the Italian race, with multiple stage winners across the years. The former's last win was in 2016 with Giulio Ciccone while Gianni Savio's Androni outfit last won in 2019 through Fausto Masnada. 

Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli's Simon Pellaud won the Premio Fuga prize at the race last year for the longest time spent in the breakaway, 783km in total.

The invitation of three Italian teams echoes the Tour de France's approach to wildcards, where the two invitations were handed to French squads.

Alpecin-Fenix will take to the start line for the second time after they once again topped the ProTour rankings last year. They won their first grand tour stage through Tim Merlier at the Giro last year and went on to record victories at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España as well.

Arkéa-Samsic were also invited to the race, as the second-ranked ProTeam, but turned down the offer. As a result, race organisers RCS had the ability to invite another wildcard team, avoiding any awkward decisions. Notably, despite being invited to other RCS races this year and in the past, Gazprom-RusVelo have not been chosen.

Giro d'Italia 2022 teams

Ag2r-Citroën Team
Astana Qazaqstan Team
Bahrain Victorious
Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
EF Education-Nippo
Ineos Grenadiers
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
Israel Start-Up Nation
Team Jumbo-Visma
Movistar Team
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
Team BikeExchange-Jayco
Team DSM
UAE Team Emirates

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