Vacansoleil-DCM very happy with UCI ProTeam license award
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Vacansoleil-DCM very happy with UCI ProTeam license award

by Ben Atkins at 6:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
First division license well ahead of Dutch team’s longterm strategy

vacansoleilAfter Rabobank was confirmed to have retained its ProTeam licence earlier this month, Vacansoleil became the second Dutch team to be awarded a place at the International Cycling Union (UCI) top table. Teams were evaluted on their sporting, ethical, financial and administrative qualities and Vacansoleil, the winner of the 2010 UCI Europe Tour, was adjudged to be twelfth best by the license commission.

“From day one on we are a solid team and the whole group of staff, riders and sponsors made this possible,” said a proud Daan Luijkx, Vacansoleil team manager. “We were good in 2009, better in 2010 and the 2011 team has an enormous potential. The always-eager team will start the Tour Down Under to show what they are capable of at this level. After the Classics we will do our first review.”

The team was only launched in 2009 and in just two years has elevated itself to the very top echelons of the sport; this is ahead of even this ambitious team’s three year plan. Originally the team set itself the target of top level status by the end of next year. It sees the license award this time though as a vindication of its attacking style, and what it refers to as an “attractive way of racing”.

The team has been awarded the license for three years but will be tested, mainly on sporting criteria, each year. Luijkx declared himself happy with the duration of the license, especially as he knows that ProTeam status will assure Vacansoleil invitations to a number of big races that it missed out on this season.

With a possible dispute building between the organisers of the Grand Tours and the UCI over World Tour race invitations though, Luijkx knows that he still can’t take anything for granted.

“The three year agreement with parties like Vacansoleil, DCM and Ridley gives confidence towards the future,” he said. “Despite great results, we missed out on some big races in 2010. We want to avoid this by moving into the first division, keeping our core of the team together and by hiring a few top riders. With the license we are curious what the UCI and organizers will decide on the selections for the giant tours. One thing is sure; with this license, we will do more big races in 2011.”

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