Van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix team invited to all Italian August classics

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Alpecin-Fenix’s Mathieu van der Poel on stage 2 of the 2020 Volta ao Algarve

Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix squad has been given wild card invitations to all of RCS Sport's August classics, allowing the Dutchman to target Strada Bianche (August 1), Milano-Torino (Aug 5), Milan-San Remo (Aug 8), Gran Piemonte (Aug 12) and Il Lombardia (Aug 15). 

Van der Poel is also expected to ride Tirreno-Adriatico in September in preparation for the UCI Road World Championships road race and the cobbled Classics now scheduled for October.

The Alpecin-Fenix team lobbied Tour de France organiser ASO to invite extra teams to the rescheduled race but other stakeholders pushed back against the idea and the original 22 teams will be on the start line. Alpecin-Fenix has been invited to race the Virtual Tour de France on Zwift during the next three weekends in July.

Van der Poel and his teammates studied the route of Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders today and will ride the route of Gent-Wevelgem on Wednesday as part of a first training camp together.

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RCS Sport announced their wild card selections for the spring races in January but the August dates, revised because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, have shuffled the peloton and allowed the Italian races to secure Van der Poel's presence.

The 19 WorldTour teams will receive automatic invitations to the Giro d'Italia, with Italian ProTeams Androni Giocattoli-SidermecBardiani-CSF-Faizanè and Vini Zabù-KTM confirmed as the three wild cards for the October 3-25 Grand Tour.

14 WorldTour teams will ride Milano-Torino and 11 Gran Piemonte, with six and eight ProTeams, respectively, to complete the start list. The three Italian Pro Teams teams will line-up in all the Italian Classics alongside Alpecin-Fenix, with Circus-Wanty Gobert also qualifying as best ranked ProTeam of 2019. 

RCS Sport also confirmed the 23 women's teams for Strade Bianche, with the 8 WorldTour squads joined by 15 other teams, including Boels Dolmans, Bigla-Katusha and Rally Cycling.