UCI refuses ProTour licenses for French teams, RadioShack decision on hold
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UCI refuses ProTour licenses for French teams, RadioShack decision on hold

by VeloNation Press at 12:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Today in a press release the International Cycling Union's License Commission has awarded a UCI ProTour license to two teams and two events, but in a surprise move, they have denied entry for two French teams, Cofidis and Bbox Bouygues Télécom.

The Lampre team, featuring Italian stars Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi, was granted a four-year ProTour license that will be up for renewal in 2013. The Milram team also received a one year license that will get them through the 2010 season.

"That is very good news for us," said a happy Gerry van Gerwen, General Manager of Team Milram.  "That gives us more security in our planning for the coming year.  We can now continue developing the team at the highest level.  And of course, as the only German team at the highest level, it is important that we be able to present ourselves in a fitting manner at the season's highlights."

Both Cofidis, le crédit en ligne and Bbox Bouygues Télécom are French teams with a long history in the sport of cycling. The reasons for not renewing their ProTour status was not given, but it is highly unlikely that this will impact a start for either of the two French teams in the Tour de France. The presence of French stars Thomas Voeckler and David Moncoutié all but guarantee a place in the world's biggest bike race.

Bbox Bouygues Télécom manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau defiant about the decision made by the sport's governing body.

Bernaudeau told the AFP, "It will not stop us from riding and winning Tour stages.

"They [the UCI] spoke to us about a sporting level that was not quite high enough."

The French teams fill the 19th and 20th spots in the ProTour standings, so it would seem that performance had a role in the decision.

Another surprise was that the Licensing Commission said they must further examine the file submitted by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's new American team RadioShack. The Commission said they will announce a decision on the Texan's new team at a later date.

The Tour of Flanders and the Amstel Gold Race have both received a four-year license that expires in 2013.


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