FDJ loses ProTeam licence chance due to late paperwork
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

FDJ loses ProTeam licence chance due to late paperwork

by Conal Andrews at 2:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Embarrassment for general manager Marc Madiot

Anthony RouxTeam owner Marc Madiot is facing an embarrassing situation after it emerged that the reason his FDJ team lost out on a ProTeam licence was because the contracts of several of its riders were sent to the UCI after an important deadline.

Anthony Roux was the best-ranked of the three, with his contract being submitted on October 25th. Those of Dominique Rollin and Geoffrey Soupe also arrived late. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Velochrono that the reason why their points were not counted was because the documents, “reached the UCI after the deadline of October 20th. The mistake was made by FDJ,” he stated.

Had Roux’s points been included, the improvement to the team’s ranking would have made it eligible for consideration for a ProTeam contract. Without those, it was ranked 21st on the UCI’s hierarchical list, one place outside the cut-off point.

The news will be an embarrassment to Madiot, who previously complained about his team’s exclusion. "We don’t understand how the calculations are being done,” he said to l'Equipe. “Some rules seem unclear and it's a pity not to know the basic rules that have led to the calculation of the points. We didn't think that the new rules and the quality of the recruitment we've made for 2011 would leave us in 21st place.”

All is not lost for the team, although it is very hard to see how the UCI would change things at this point. Eighteen teams have been awarded ProTeam status, and so any awarding of a licence to FDJ would see one of those excluded. Nevertheless, it can try by lodging an appeal prior to December 10th.

Without a ProTeam licence, FDJ would need to rely on wildcard invitations to UCI World Tour events. These are made up of the former ProTour races plus those on the Historical calendar of the Grand Tour organisers.

Just one French squad has been awarded a ProTeam licence for 2011, namely Ag2r La Mondiale. The others will lobby Tour de France organiser ASO for an invitation to its race, and also to other events such as Paris-Nice and Paris-Roubaix.

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