The Vuelta a España has released its three wildcard invitations for the 2013 edition of the race, with IAM Cycling once again losing out.
Cofidis and Caja Rural are both back for the season’s third grand tour, while Team NetApp-Endura will make its first appearance in the Spanish tour.
The Vuelta, which runs from August 24 to September 15, also includes all 19 UCI ProTeam squads.
Cofidis is a steady performer in the Vuelta, though it will be missing the now-retired David Moncoutié, a winner of four Vuelta stages and four best climber’s jerseys.
Caja Rural, Spain’s most important Pro Continental squad, earns its second trip to the Spanish tour. The squad will be headlined by 2010 Giro d’Italia runner-up David Arroyo and Tour of the Basque Country stage-hunter Amets Txurruka.
NetApp, after also missing out on a possible Tour bid, scores its second grand tour. It raced the Giro d’Italia last year, notching two second places in stages as the squad animated the race with attacks and breakaways.
“We always believed we were going to race a grand tour this year,” said team manager Ralph Denk in a team statement. “The development of the team has been enormous since racing the Giro last year, and I am sure we will justify our invitation to the Vuelta with a big performance.”
The news comes as a blow for IAM Racing, the new Swiss Pro Continental team that has now been locked out of all three grand tours in its debut season.
Just last week, the Swiss outfit learned it would not be racing the Tour de France. The Giro d’Italia, which starts tomorrow in Naples, gave its lone non-Italian nod to South American squad Colombia.
Full list of Vuelta teams
Ag2r La Mondiale
BMC Racing Team
Omega Pharma-Quick Step