The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body responsible for world cycle sport, has released a list of 18 teams given a ProTour licence for 2009.

There are no major or unexpected changes to the ProTour team list. New additions to the line-up are Katusha and Garmin-Slipstream, whilst the former Saunier Duval/Scott-American Beef squad is now called Fuji-Servetto and CSC becomes Saxo Bank-IT Factory.

Teams wishing to register for a ProTour licence must provide the UCI with a set of supporting documentation with their application. This is then scrutinised by professional services organisation Ernst&Young on behalf of the UCI to ensure that all squads meet the UCI’s regulations as well as having the required financial and legal status.

The following 18 teams have now been registered:

AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana (KAZ)
BBox Bouygues Telecom (FRA)
Caisse d?Epargne (ESP)
Cofidis, le credit en ligne (FRA)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (ESP)
Francaise des Jeux (FRA)
Garmin-Slipstream (USA)
Katusha (RUS)
Lampre-N.G.C. (ITA)
Liquigas (ITA)
Team Milram (GER)
Quick Step (BEL)
Rabobank (NED)
Fuji-Servetto (ESP)
Saxo Bank-IT Factory (DEN)
Silence-Lotto (BEL)
Team Columbia (USA)

UCI grants ProTour licences to seven more teams