Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has confirmed the ProTour registration of new outfits Team Sky and Team RadioShack for the 2010 season.
Both teams had previously been awarded four-year ProTour licences, but teams are also required to undergo the registration process annually to ensure they comply with administrative and financial requirements, based on “sporting, ethical and financial criteria.”
All but one of the 18 teams that applied have been registered for 2010, the exception being the Italian outfit Lampre Farnese Vini, whose riders include Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Pettachi.
Team manager Beppe Saronni told Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I’m optimistic – the problem is that every year they make the accounting requirements more severe. I’m waiting to hear from the UCI regarding what further information they need from us, but I don’t think it’ll be anything important.”
The paper added that if it were an administrative problem, then the team would have until 20 December to get its house in order.
However, the UCI, which has underlined that licensing and registration are two separate procedures, said that its ProTour Council has now referred the matter back to the Licence Commission to decide whether or not to withdraw the team’s license.
Lampre Farnese Vini has been hit by a number of departures of riders during the current transfer season. Those include 2008 World Road Race Champion Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio who have joined BMC Racing, Paolo Tiralongo and Enrico Gasparotto who have gone to Astana, and Marco Bandiera and Marzio Bruseghin who have been signed up respectively by Katusha and Caisse d'Epargne.
The paper added that should the team fail to obtain registration, it would leave Italy with just one team competing at the highest levels of the sport, Liquigas-Doimo. It noted that France has also seen its profile diminish among professional road cycling’s top echelon, with just two teams, AG2R and Française des Jeux, whereas last year they were joined in the ProTour by BBox and Cofidis.
The UCI also clarified the situation with regard to Astana, which as we reported yesterday, has secured registration, saying that the bank guarantee it had sought from the Kazakh outfit in recent days was aimed to avoid a repetition of the non-payment of riders’ salaries that happened earlier this year. The UCI added that it “awaits this bank guarantee and is confident it will be provided soon.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.