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RadioShack-Nissan and GreenEdge still to satisfy UCI WorldTour requirements

Meanwhile, Euskaltel-Euskadi and AG2R La Mondiale retain top-flight status, but Europcar misses out

New Australian outfit GreenEdge and RadioShack-Nissan, the team formed from the merger of RadioShack and Leopard Trek which includes both Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara, have yet to satisfy the requirements of the UCI Licensing Commission in connection with their respective applications for a WorldTour licence for the 2012 season.

The news was povided in an update on the licensing process for the coming season provided by the UCI, which confirmed that the commission “is currently waiting for the teams to provide additional documents.”

In what is perhaps a signal that completion of the requirements regarding documentation is not a formality, the UCI added: “Therefore, as it stands, 16 teams will take part in the UCI WorldTour 2012. In accordance with UCI regulations, a maximum of 18 UCI ProTeams may take part in the UCI WorldTour.”

The UCI also confirmed that it had rejected an application for a WorldTour licence, which guarantees entry to all UCI World Calendar races including the three Grand Tours and major Classics.

That means that the team will race instead under a Professional Continental licence, and will have to rely on a wild card entry to races such as the Tour de France, as it did this year when its performance gripped the French public with Thomas Voeckler spending ten days in the maillot jaune and Pierre Rolland winning the Alpe d’Huez stage and winning the white jersey for best young rider.

With Geox-TMC withdrawing its application after its efforts to find a replacement sponsor proved unsuccessful, the two teams confirmed as having secured WorldTour registration were existing licence holders AG2R-La Mondiale and Euskaltel-Euskadi.

They had been required to go through the entire registration process as a result of finishing outside the top 15 of the UCI World Ranking this season.

Like RadioShack-Nissan, Vacansoleil-DCM had been waiting for its application to be approved, which has now happened, and it joins Astana, BMC Racing, Lampre-iSD, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar, Rabobank and Team Sky in having its existing licence confirmed.

New licences have been awarded to FDJ and Omega Pharma-Quick Step for 2012-14 and to Katusha and Lotto Belisol for 2012-15; Saxo Bank, which recently announced that the Danish financial institution had renewed its headline sponsorship, has only been granted a license for on year, however.

One school of thought is that the UCI has done so because of the potential impact of Alberto Contador receiving a ban, and being stripped of world ranking points with a knock-on effect on his own team, should the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing taht began yesterday related to his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France go against the Spaniard.

The UCI added that it will publish the full list of teams that have secured Professional Continental status for the coming season on 12 December.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Aminthule | 11 years ago

What a bloody tragedy if Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar team aren't in the main spotlight this year. I'm no Francophile, but I couldn't help cheering TV on this year in Le Tour. What character, guts and passion, something that so many of the riders and teams lack! Chapeau!

Simon_MacMichael | 12 years ago

If anything's guaranteed in cycling, notfastenough, it's that Europcar will have an invite from ASO to the Tour.

You're right, it would be good to have some transparency as to precise reasons for a team being awarded a licence or not, but the UCI presumably has its own reasons for not making those public.

And yes, with Europcar being one of the few truly global non-cycling brands sponsoring a team, it must be frustrating for them not to have guaranteed exposure in some of the biggest races out there - last year, for example, the team missed out on both the Giro and the Vuelta, and besides the international coverage, Italy and Spain are both markets where Europcar has a significant presence.

notfastenough | 12 years ago

Would be nice to have some more info on Europcar's rejection. They were one of the main sources of entertainment at the Tour this year, and it would be a shame to not have that next year.

Also, you have to wonder what impact this will have on Europcar's inclination towards sponsorship. They've spent a load of cash, the team has delivered (on the sporting front, at least), their brand is associated with national heroes (Voeckler and Rolland) in France - but still in what amounts to division 2?

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