Riis relieved by Saxo Bank WorldTour licence decision
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Riis relieved by Saxo Bank WorldTour licence decision

by VeloNation Press at 2:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Dane pledges to put his energy into rebuilding team

Bjarne RiisResponding with relief after the UCI’s Licence Commission decided not to strip the Saxo Bank team of its place in the WorldTour, Bjarne Riis has said that a weight is off his shoulders.

He has said that he and the others connected to the team will now concentrate on rebuilding the setup, getting back on track after the distractions of the Alberto Contador case and the WorldTour licence issue.

"We respect the decision made by the License Commission, and we are of course both relieved and happy about the result,” he stated in a team release issued this evening, an hour and a half after the UCI gave its verdict. “We very much think this is the right decision given the whole situation that caused the re-evaluation of our license.

"Now we very much look forward to putting all our energy, effort and focus back on running the team and racing again. For the first time in more than one and a half year we are actually able to do so 100 percent.”

Riis does indeed have a lot to do, as his team is currently positioned at the bottom of the WorldTour talbe with just two points. He also needs to ensure that the team has sufficient points at the end of this season, as otherwise it could be turned down for next year’s licence.

The UCI noted today that the ProTeam licence was up for renewal at the end of the year. Normally licences are granted for three to four years, but the sponsor Saxo Bank has told Riis that it wants to commit only to one year at a time.

Contador is currently suspended until August as a result of his positive test from the 2010 Tour de France. He has said that he might return to the team, but nothing is yet guaranteed.

Under current UCI rules, points gained by him in the two years after his return will not count towards his team’s licence.


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