Cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, has denied the ProTour applications of the Cofidis and Bbox-Bouygues Telecom squads.
Both French teams had their ProTour license renewal hopes dashed, whilst Italian team Lampre and German squad Milram have both been awarded licenses by the UCI. No reason for the decisions have so far been announced.
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The news came in a statement issued by the UCI on Tuesday afternoon:
“The Lampre team has obtained a four-year license for the period 2010 to 2013. As for the Milram team, it has received a license for one year, valid in 2010.”
“On the other hand, the Commission has decided not to award a UCI ProTour license to the French teams Cofidis, le crédit en ligne and Bbox Bouygues Télécom.”
Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack squad has yet to have its application for a ProTour license given the green light. “The Commission continues to examine the file submitted by the new American team Radio Shack. It will announce its decision at a later date,” the UCI says.
Earlier this month, the British-based Sky team had its application for a ProTour license accepted.
A maximum of 20 licenses are available for teams wishing to have automatic entry in the UCI’s top flight ProTour races. Prospective teams must submit an application to the UCI’s ProTour commission which then awards a license based on a number of criteria being met, which according to the UCI are: “excellent sporting quality, an unconditional respect of ethical considerations, impeccable legal compliance and assurances of financial stability.”
The ProTour was created in 2005 as a replacement for the now defunct UCI Road World Cup series. Originally it included the three grand tours – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana – but these races, and several one-day classics, are now no longer part of the UCI series instead being part of a wider World Calendar.
Non-ProTour teams can still gain entry to ProTour races via a wildcard system. ProTour teams are, however, obliged to ride all ProTour events.