Arkéa-Samsic will not race the Giro d'Italia, according to reports in France.
The ProTeam outfit were handed automatic entries into all WorldTour events throughout the 2022 season following the demise of Qhubeka-NextHash and because of their ranking as the second-best team in the divisional category behind Alpecin-Fenix.
However, as they are wish to join the WorldTour ranks in 2023, they believe that forgoing the Giro to focus on other races will give them the best opportunity to rack up the sufficient number of points required that would grant them a top-tier licence for three years.
French publication Ouest France has reported that the team from Brittany will tell the Giro organisers shortly that they will be declining the wildcard invitation.
It means that a spare spot for a different team will open up, paving the way most probably for one of three Italian teams who operate at the same level to be handed a place in the season's opening Grand Tour.
EOLO-Kometa, the team of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso who memorably won a stage of last year's Giro on the fearsome Monte Zoncolan through Lorenzo Fortuanto, will be the favourites to take Arkéa-Samsic's spot. Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli will also be in contention.
The expected withdrawal of Arkéa-Samsic has been floated for a number of months, with the team's manager Emmanuel Hubert telling Ouest France in December that "we may have to refuse an invitation to the Giro of the Vuelta.
"Arkéa-Samsic's deepest wish is to participate in the WorldTour in 2023 for three seasons. And to enter this elite, it is the results and points of the last three seasons that matter," he said.
"It's going to be a complicated choice to make: it will be frustrating, no doubt, because we don't want to deprive ourselves of the one of the most beautiful races in the world like that."
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