The UCI has confirmed that RusVelo, the feeder team to Katusha, has now beenb granted a UCI Professional Continental licence for the 2013 season.
A week before before Christmas, the governing body had said that it was referring RusVelo’s case to its Licence Commission, which today’s announcement confirms as being happy that everything is in order.
The referral of RusVelo coincided with the Licence Commission’s refusal to grant a UCI WorldTour licence to Katusha itself, a situation that has still not been resolved with the matter due to go before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), although no date has yet been set, with the case not appearing on the list of forthcoming ones announced by CAS today.
Potentially, both Katusha and RusVelo could find themselves racing at the same level during the coming season, assuming the former were to be granted a Professional Continental licence in the event that its appeal to CAS were rejected.
Yesterday, Katusha was denied a wild card entry for the Giro d'Italia, although it did receive invitations for Tirreno Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo and, later in the season, the Giro di Lombardia. The Spanish press has reported that Joaquim Rodriguez is unsettled by the situation and is set to leave the team, something the world number one's manager has denied.
Both Katusha and RusVelo fall under the umbrella of the Russian Global Cycling Project, backed by energy billionaire Igor Makarov who is also president of the Russian Cycling Federation, the FVSR, and sits on the UCI’s management committee.
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.