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Dave Brailsford, British Cycling's Performance Director and boss of the new Sky team put in the application for a ProTour licence this week, signaling the beginning of the next phase of the project.

"We put the application in on Monday," Brailsford said from France. "It was the standard application process with the financial documents and contract details."

"'We also presented an outline of the project's values and how it will work, and all about our anti-doping procedures and how we do it. We did it very thoroughly, shall we say. The panel will now review the information."

With the application goes a cheque of €50,000 to the Union Cycliste International, the sports governing body. The original idea was that teams with a ProTour licence were guaranteed entry in to the biggest bike races in the world, including the Tour de France.

Although that agreement isn't strictly in place after the organisers of the Grand Tours pulled their races from the ProTour calendar, ProTour teams have only been left out of certain races because of positive tests and drug scandals.

Should Team Sky ride the Tour de France next year as is expected, it will be the first time a British team has ridden since ANC Halfords in 1987.

Although it's not guaranteed that Team Sky will be given a ProTour licence, Brailsford is very confident. "We'll probably end up going over there for a meeting in the next couple of weeks where we'll face any questions, but we think it's a good submission, and with a backer like Sky......."

There are currently 18 ProTour teams. Of those, only Fuji-Servetto are not riding this year's Tour de France.

Brailsford and the ever growing team of backroom staff were in Monaco for the Tour's start paying particular attention to the team buses. He's recruited two vehicle specialists from Formula 1 who spent the opening weekend looking out their soon-to-be-rivals buses as they work on designing the Sky team bus.

RELATED LINKS

Team Sky: As it happens

Team Sky takes off

EXTERNAL LINKS

Official ProTour website

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 


Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel