‘Couple of days’ before UCI will communicate reason for Katusha’s WorldTour exclusion
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

‘Couple of days’ before UCI will communicate reason for Katusha’s WorldTour exclusion

by Shane Stokes at 9:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team leader and world number one Joaquim Rodriguez: ‘I prefer not to say anything’

Joaquim RodriguezFollowing the unexpected news yesterday that it would not be given a WorldTour licence, the Katusha team may be facing a wait before it knows the specific reason why its application was denied.

VeloNation contacted the UCI after it was announced that the team would not form part of the top 18 squads in the sport, and must instead aim for a Pro Continental licence. The governing body was asked if ethical considerations were the reason the team was passed over or, if not, what other factor caused the Licence Commission to turn down the application.

“We can't say anything on this because thus far, the Commission has given only the decision and not the reasoning,” stated UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani. “That will follow in the next couple of days.”

The team’s top rider Joaquim Rodriguez declined to say much on the issue, telling AS that he wished to remain quiet for now. “I do not know how it works [the decision] and, until it has been clarified, I prefer not to say anything because everything you say could go against us.

“We will see. Hopefully it will be resolved.”

The fact that the team has missed out on the top licence is particularly unexpected because Rodriguez was the winner of the related WorldTour series this year and ensured the squad finished second overall in the team standings.

After results such as victory in Flèche Wallonne and Il Lombardia plus second overall in the Giro d’Italia and third in the Vuelta a España, he was clearly the most consistent rider in the world.

However with Katusha now losing out in the push to retain its ProTeam licence, he is unlikely to be have the platform to show the same WorldTour consistency in 2013. The Russian setup will need to rely on wildcard invites to get into the top races, and with many other teams in the same battle for selection, it is likely to be passed over for some of them.

Rodriguez’s directeur sportif Valerio Piva said that he couldn’t believe the decision. “We are here at the Marina di Bibona training camp and the news has arrived while we were doing the programmes [of activity],” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We are all in a state of shock, we can’t say more than that. Clearly, I would like to know the reasons, but now I don’t think we can do anything.”

Rodriguez’s fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador is another who found it hard to understand. “This is one thing that I never thought would happen,” the Vuelta winner told AS. “I was surprised.”


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