Saxo Tinkoff CEO celebrating UCI ProTeam licence green light
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Saxo Tinkoff CEO celebrating UCI ProTeam licence green light

by VeloNation Press at 10:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“I think that the best riders must ride the best races”

alberto contadorIt’s been a stressful number of months for Team Saxo Tinkoff CEO Trey Greenwood, who spent a long time waiting to learn if the squad would manage to hold on to its UCI ProTeam licence or not.

Yesterday he got the news that it had been given the green light, leading to relief all round for the team.

“We're not surprised that we got it, but we were wondering if it would happen. We did have a good feeling after the hearing [before the UCI Licence Commission], but of course there is some uncertainty until the end,” he told Ekstra Bladet.

The Danish setup features one of the world’s top riders in Alberto Contador but due to a UCI rule relating to those who have served a long suspension, his points could not be counted when each team’s hierarchical value was being calculated.

This meant that the team ranked only twentieth and with those from that position back to sixteenth left battling for three available slots, it led to considerable uncertainty.

The battle became slightly easier when the nineteenth-ranked team, Europcar, indicated that it didn’t want to push for one of those places. However with four teams still in the running, one looked likely to lose out.

In the end, Katusha’s surprise exclusion from the WorldTour meant that each of the four were safe. Team Saxo Tinkoff joins FDJ, Lotto – Belisol and Argos-Shimano as ProTeams, something which Greenwood says is fully justified.

“The licence is important because I think that the best riders must ride the best races, and with the lineup we have for the coming season, we have to have a place in the WorldTour.”

Greenwood is glad that the team had a chance to argue its case before the Licence Commission. “They looked not only at the points, they also viewed the strength of the team,” he said. “We didn’t have problems with any of the other criteria, it was only the strength of our team that we had to talk about.”

The Danish squad has been given a WorldTour licence for two years, and therefore has guaranteed access to the Tour de France and other Grand Tours, as well as the big Classics.

Contador is almost certain to target the Tour de France again, while riders such as Nicolas Roche, Roman Kreuziger and Mick Rogers will support him there and hope for their own opportunities in other races.

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