Cofidis caught out for Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cofidis caught out for Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders

by VeloNation Press at 8:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Tour of Flanders
The French Cofidis team has been refused an invitation to two of Belgium's biggest races, Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. According to Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique, the team believes this is a direct consequence of their relegation from a ProTour to a Pro Continental team last year, and are reportedly "not amused" by the decision.

At the time of the downgrade UCI ProTour manager Alain Rumpf commented on why Cofidis, along with fellow French team Bbox Bouygues Telecom, were passed over for their ProTour license renewal. He confirmed that both teams were refused licenses due to their poor results in 2009. At the time of the decision they were rated as 19th and 20th in the UCI world rankings, below three Professional Continental teams.

This meant the teams would be forced to seek wild card invites to participate in ProTour and Historic level races.

Team manager Alain Deloeil told the newspaper he was extremely disappointed with the decision taken by organizers. "This is very frustrating," he admitted. "We have been put down as first reserve, but what does that get out? I also do not understand, because we have four Belgians on our team: Kevyn Ista, Jens Keukeleire, Nico Sijmens and Romain Zingle. Last Ista was good and finished second in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad behind Thor Hushovd!"

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