No ProTeam licence for Team Geox?
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Friday, November 19, 2010

No ProTeam licence for Team Geox?

by Shane Stokes at 6:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team may need a wildcard invite to Tour de France

UCI WorldTour2010 podium finisher Denis Menchov and 2008 Tour winner Carlos Sastre may have to rely on a wildcard invitation from the organisers of the Tour de France next year, following a report that the Geox-TMC team will not get a ProTeam (ProTour) licence.

The squad, which is essentially an expansion of the current Footon Servetto Fuji team, applied to the UCI to race at the top level of the sport. The 18 teams who are awarded the top licence will, according to the UCI, be entitled to compete in the WorldTour races, including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

However according to Tuttobici, UCI President Pat McQuaid called Maurizio D'Angelo, Geox-TMC team president, yesterday and told him that the team was not being given the green light. The Italian website says that at the moment, the precise reason is not known. The team is yet to confirm that is has been passed over.

Team Geox-TMC is listed as 17th in the UCI’s sporting hierarchy of teams, released on November 2nd. The UCI has not made it clear how the hierarchy has been drawn up, thus leading to criticism from teams and others, who feel there is a lack of transparency to the process. They have also complained that prior notice was not given as to how the system would work.

The UCI has said that only those in the top 20 will be considered as candidates for the 18 ProTeam licences.

Thus far, four squads have been told that they will be ProTeams: Rabobank (ranked second), Garmin – Cervélo (3rd), Omega Pharma – Lotto (5th) and Sky ProCycling (10th). The UCI uses several criteria when making its decision, including sporting, financial and ethical considerations.

If Geox-TMC is indeed passed over, that would increase the possibility that the 19th or the 20th-ranked team would get the top licence. Those squads are Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne and Ag2r.

The organisers of the Tour de France and other races will have the right to invite a limited number of wildcard teams. They traditionally lean towards French teams, and will thus consider the candidature of others such as FDJ (21st), Saur-Sojasun (22nd) and Europcar (27th). If Geox-TMC is excluded from the list of ProTeams, it will be competing with those and other teams for an invitation.

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UCI’s sporting hierarchy of teams for 2011:

1, Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
2, Rabobank Cycling Team
3, Garmin-Cervélo
4, HTC-Highroad
5, Omega Pharma-Lotto
6, Lampre-ISD
7, Katusha
8, Sky ProCycling
9, Liquigas-Cannondale
10, Saxo Bank SunGard
11, Team RadioShack
12, Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
13, Pro Team Astana
14, Movistar Team
15, BMC Racing Team
16, Euskaltel-Euskadi
17, Geox-TMC
18, Quick Step Cycling Team
19, Cofidis Le Crédit en ligne
20, AG2R
21, FDJ
22, Saur-Sojasun
23, Pegasus Sports
24, Skil-Shimano
25, Acqua e Sapone

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