Things are all starting to come together for Lance Armstrong and his RadioShack team with the announcement that the UCI has granted them a ProTour licence for the next three years, the news comes a day after Asanta gave their team director, Johan Bruyneel permission to leave… just as well really because he already appears to be working over at RadioShack.
Neither decision was unexpected – Bruyneel while still a presence on the Astana website at least has no doubt been helping pull things together at RadioShack since its inception, and while it is unthinkable that Armstrong and co would not take part in next year's Tour the RadioShack website points out that they still have not been officially invited. The Tour de France aside, being a ProTour team guarantees RadioShack an invite to all Pro Tour races including the early season classics such as the Tour of Flanders. However, most of cycle sport's most iconic races including all of the grand tours and Paris Roubaix are not Pro Tour events, even so given that most of these are owned by media companies it is unlikely that any team containing such a box office draw as Lance Armstrong would miss out on an invite.
According to the international wire services the UCI said in a statement that: "Following the examination of a request received, the License Commission has awarded a four-year UCI ProTour license for the period 2010 to 2013 to Team RadioShack (USA).” No such statement had been posted on the UCI website when this story was being written… but it certainly sounds like the UCI and we're sure there are better things to do on a Friday night in Switzerland than post statements on your website even those released some hours earlier.
RadioShack are putting together a strong roster of talent for 2010 as well as Armstrong, they have also signed Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, Chris Horner and a number of promising younger riders such as Daryl Impey and Ben Hermans.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.