Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has confirmed the registration for the 2010 season of 19 Professional Continental, the second-highest level in the sport after the ProTour.
The list of teams features several that are likely to compete in the Giro, Tour de France and other top-level races such as the Spring classics next season. They include Cervélo TestTeam, home of Tour de France green jersey champion Thor Hushovd and former overall winner Carlos Sastre, and US-based BMC Racing, the new team of world road champion Cadel Evans and US national champion George Hincapie.
Teams registering have to pass an independent examination by auditors Ernst & Young, and the less strict requirements required to secure Professional Continental rather than ProTour status helps explain why some high-profile outfits choose this option.
The teams must engage at least 14 riders, two team managers and three other members of staff, as well as complying with rules regarding financial reporting and furnishing other documentation demonstrating their compliance with UCI rules.
For the purposes of registration, four teams that are Italian in all but name are domiciled in Great Britain or Ireland, and the full list of the 19 teams that have had their registration confirmed is as follows:
Acqua & Sapone, ( I )
Andalucia Cajasur, ( Sp )
Bbox Bouygues Telecom, ( F )
BMC Racing Team, ( USA )
Carmiooro-NGC, ( GB )
CCC Polsat Polkowice, ( Pol )
Ceramica Flaminia, ( Irl )
Cervélo Test Team, ( Swi )
Cofidis, ( F )
Colnago-CSF Inox, ( Irl )
De Rosa-Stac Plastic, ( Irl )
ISD-Neri, ( I )
Landbouwkrediet, ( B )
Saur-Sojasun, ( F )
Scott-Marcondes César Sao José dos Campos, ( Brz )
Skil-Shimano, ( Nl )
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, ( B )
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team, ( Nl )
Voralberg-Corratec, ( A )
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.