Sastre and Menchov's Geox squad fails to make ProTeam status

Carlos Sastre, Tour de France 2009, stage 20

The Geox team of Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre failed to receive a first division licence for next year. According to Italian website Tuttobiciweb, the International Cycling Union (UCI) will overlook the team Geox when it grants the final 18 ProTeam licenses by December 1.

Britain's Team Sky and three other teams - Garmin-Cervélo, Rabobank and Omega Pharma-Lotto - were the only teams assured of a first division licence in a UCI press release last month. The UCI's plan, however, is to grant the first 15 teams in its sporting rankings a first division licence. The UCI's licence commission will award the remaining licences to three of the five team's ranked 16th through 20th: Euskaltel, Geox, Quick Step, Cofidis and AG2R.

Geox's team president, Maurizio D'Angelo, though, received the bad news last night. UCI President Pat McQuaid called to tell him that Geox is not one of the three teams. That leaves Spain's Euskaltel, Belgium's Quick Step and France's Cofidis and Ag2r in an elimination race.

This summer, Geox signed 2008 Tour de France winner Sastre and this year's third place finisher, Menchov. The UCI calculated its sporting rankings based off the results from 2009 and 2010 of the best 15 riders that the team has signed. Team Luxembourg topped the rankings by signing Andy and Fränk Schleck, and (still unofficial) mega-winner Fabian Cancellara.

Italian footwear company Geox agreed in August to take over sponsorship of Mauro Gianetti's Footon-Servetto team for next year. The Italian press originally reported that Geox agreed to the five-year, €50 million contract, but Gianetti would not confirm the terms.

Gianetti's team is a continuation of the Saunier Duval team, 2004 to 2008. The team lost its sponsor and re-structured itself at the end of the 2008 season, following the doping positives of Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Riccò for EPO-CERA at that year's Tour de France.

UCI's sporting rankings

1 Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

2 Rabobank

3 Garmin-Cervélo

4 HTC-Highroad

5 Omega Pharma-Lotto

6 Lampre-ISD

7 Katusha

8 Sky

9 Liquigas-Cannondale

10 Saxo Bank SunGard

11 Team RadioShack

12 Vacansoleil-DCM

13 Pro Team Astana

14 Movistar

15 BMC Racing Team

16 Euskaltel-Euskadi

17 Geox-TMC

18 Quick Step

19 Cofidis

20 AG2R


21 FDJ

22 Saur-Sojasun

23 Pegasus Sports

24 Skil-Shimano

25 Acqua e Sapone

Related links

Pegasus misses UCI ProTeam cut

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