Lampre still in limbo as ProTour start approaches
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lampre still in limbo as ProTour start approaches

by Conal Andrews at 7:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Most teams have already laid out their schedules for the first half of the season but the Italian Lampre team has still no indication if it will ride the major events in 2010.

The Italian team was refused a ProTour licence on November 25th but quickly put together an appeal, which was submitted before the December 20th deadline. However, this morning Gazzetta dello Sport quotes UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani as saying that there is still no news.

“We do not know anything,” he said, “if the Licence Commission has [already] met, or when it will meet.”

Last autumn, Lampre was given a new four-year ProTour licence, but the UCI then refused to register the team. General manager Giuseppe Saronni was stunned by the news, and promised to rectify the situation.

“The decision of the CUPT (UCI ProTour Council) is surprising,” he told at the time. “Now we are waiting to know which aspects of our dossier the UCI is asking for clarification. Certainly, at this moment I’d prefer to be thinking about [preparing for] the sporting aspect of 2010, while I am forced [instead] to deal more in administrative and bureaucratic areas.”

The UCI did not indicate where Lampre fell down, saying simply in November that the matter had been referred to the Licence Commission ‘which will make a decision on whether or not to withdraw the UCI ProTour licence held by that team.’

Saronni vowed to sort everything out. “I am ready to get to work, as always, to clarify this as soon as possible and ensure that Lampre Farnese Vini has the place it deserves in the cycling elite.”

However, well over a month later, there has been no further news. The Tour Down Under, the first event on the ProTour calendar, starts with a criterium in twelve days time. Lampre is likely to feel justifiably frustrated that its riders still don’t know if they will be taking part .

The 2010 squad includes riders such as Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Petacchi and Danilo Hondo. It finished thirteenth in the 2009 World Ranking, and Cunego was twelfth in the individual classification.


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