Five Professional Continental outfits get Wild Cards, including Sastre and Menchov's Geox-TMC...

RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro d’Italia which gets under way in Turin in exactly two months’ time, have confirmed the teams for this year’s race, and the big news is that Vacansoleil-DCM will be taking part.

That follows rumours in recent days that the Dutch outfit, which on paper was guaranteed a place, was due to be excluded following the sacking of Riccardo Ricco and ongoing uncertainty over its other big name, Ezequiel Mosquera, currently awaiting the results of a B sample analysis after testing positive during the Vuelta, in which he finished as runner-up, for hydroxyethyl starch.

The news will come as a relief to the team, whose less heralded signing Thomas de Gendt yesterday won the opening stage of Paris-Nice.

RCS has also announced the five teams that have secured wild card places after the UCI made a concession to provide an additional slot.

Those comprise four Italian outfits, Acqua & Sapone, Androni Giocattoli, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottili and CSF Inox, the latter pair in fact registered in, respectively, Great Britain and Ireland apparently for tax purposes, as well as Geox-TMC.

That team, registered in Spain – it raced last year as Footon Servetto – is now backed by Italian money and having missed out on a Tour de France place will be keen to make an impression through former Vuelta and Giro winner Dennis Menchov and 2008 Tour de France champion, Carlos Sastre.

Don’t forget, the Giro d’Italia will be the first of the year’s Grand Tours to feature in our new season-long Fantasy Cycling game, which gets under way with Milan-San Remo a week this Saturday, so time is running out to register your team and start making selections! There will also be a standalone version of the game focusing just on the Giro.

The full list of the 23 teams that will compete in the race is as follows:

UCI ProTeam

Ag2r-La Mondiale
BMC Racing Team
Team Movistar
Team Leopard-Trek
Quick Step
Omega Pharma-Lotto
Team Katusha
Team RadioShack
Team Saxo Bank-SunGard
Team Sky

Wild cards

Acqua & Sapone
Farnese Vini-Neri Sottili
CSF Inox
Androni Giocattoli

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.