20 Pro Continental teams apply for Wildcard status

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has received applications from 20 teams for Wildcard status, enabling them to be invited to take part in ProTour-level events.

Only two teams from the 19 who have already been granted Professional Continental status have not applied for a Wildcard – the Polish CCC Polsat Polkowice team and Brazil’s Scott-Marcondes César Sao José dos Campos. Three further squads who have yet to have their Professional Continental applications approved have also applied for a Wildcard.

Applicants will have to meet similar criteria to a full-blown ProTour team, including quality of team and riders; legal criteria; financial requirements; and ethics, particularly in respect of adhering to a strict anti-doping stance.

Those teams who are allocated Wildcard status will have to take part in the UCI’s biological passport anti-doping programme, where all riders’ blood and urine values are tracked throughout the season. This includes making a financial contribution to running the biological passport scheme and, in theory, creates a level playing field for all teams that will be competing together at ProTour events.

Professional Continental-level teams sit in the tier below the top-level ProTour squads, and generally have smaller budgets and less riders than ProTour outfits. Applying for wildcard status allows smaller teams to have a chance of competing in the big races.

Wildcard status does not guarantee that a team will be invited to an event denoted as ‘Historic’ within the UCI’s World Calendar, which includes the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo among others. The organisers of these events have their own wildcard entry system.

Professional Continental teams applying for Wildcard status
Acqua & Sapone (ITA)
Andalucia Cajasur (ESP)
Androni Giocattoli* (VEN)
Bbox Bouygues Teleco (FRA)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Carmiooro – NGC (GBR)
Ceramica Flaminia (IRL)
Cervélo Test Team (SUI)
Cofidis, le crédit en ligne (FRA)
Colnago – CSF Inox (IRL)
De Rosa – Stac Plastic (IRL)
ISD – Neri (ITA)
Landbouwkrediet (BEL)
Rock Racing* (USA)
Saur – Sojasun (FRA)
Skil – Shimano (NED)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator (BEL)
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team (NED)
Voralberg – Corratec (AUT)
Xacobeo Galicia Team* (ESP)

* Indicates a team that has yet to have its Professional Continental application approved by the UCI.

Related links
UCI announces 2010 Professional Continental teams
UCI publishes 2010 race calendar


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