Vacansoleil-DCM awarded UCI ProTeam licence for 2012
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vacansoleil-DCM awarded UCI ProTeam licence for 2012

by Xylon van Eyck at 5:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team happy to receive WorldTour confirmation after initial delay

Vacansoleil DCMVacansoleil-DCM team manager Daan Luijkx has stated his team has received a letter from the cycling governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), confirming it will again be part of the WorldTour next season.

On November 2nd, the UCI initially released a list of eight successful applications to hold the coveted ProTeam licence for next year. Vacansoleil-DCM and RadioShack-Nissan were not among the eight and were called before the Licence Committee to submit further documentation and justify its place among the world’s top teams.

Vacansoleil-DCM believed its signing of Riccardo Ricco may have hampered its ambitions. Ricco returned from a doping ban last year and switched to the Dutch team, but was subsequently fired after being rushed to hospital early this year thanks to a reported botched blood transfusion. He allegedly confessed to doctors at the hospital that he stored blood in his fridge at home and attempted a blood transfusion.

Speaking to VeloNation on November 3rd, Vacansoleil press officer Ard Bierens said that Ricco was the most likely reason why the team was called before the licence commission rather than getting a ProTeam place the day before.

“We believe that this does have to do with the matter of Riccardo Ricco and maybe as well with Mosquera,” he said. “When the issue with Riccò happened in February, they already told us that there would be quite a big chance we would have to explain everything to the Licence Commission.

“I think it is good for the UCI that they would like to speak to us to be clear to us and to everybody in cycling that we cannot take any risks.

“I think we can show what we have done in these two matters and they will explain once again what they think about cycling and doping. I am 100 percent sure that is the same way as we handle it. We are quite confident that the licence commission will give us the licence for next year after that.”

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that the team's representatives ultimately did not have to appear before the commission.

Last year the UCI awarded Vacansoleil-DCM with a three year WorldTour licence but the requirements for registration are reviewed every year. Teams are required to fill the UCI’s criteria for administrative, financial, sporting and ethical.

This year it enjoyed three WorldTour victories, two in the Tour de Suisse (Borut Bozic on stage five and Thomas de Gendt on stage seven) and Paris Nice (Thomas de Gendt on stage one).

Vacansoleil-DCM join the following teams who’ve a confirmed WorldTour licence for 2012: Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing Team, Garmin-Cervélo, Lampre-ISD, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar, Rabobank, and Sky Pro Cycling.

A WorldTour licence allow teams the luxury of having automatic entry to races such as the GrandTours and all the major Classics.

The team has made additions to its roster for next season such as signing Gustav Erik Larsson (SaxoBank-SunGard), Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek), Martin Mortensen (Leopard Trek), Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) and Nikita Novikov (neo-pro). The team will ride Bianchi bikes for the next two years.


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