Wednesday, 3 November 2010

First UCI Pro Tour teams confirmed

This time of year is a tense one for teams, riders and sponsors, as they await answers to see whether or not they get alloted pro Tour team licenses they may have applied for. Stepping up to the Pro Tour is a big commitment - both financial and resource wise, and the UCI doesn't always seem to make it's selection based around ability to perform - otherwise we're sure there would be a different criteria for being part of the "Premier league" of pro bike racing.
In years gone past things more or less came down to a free for all where, at the whims of promotors, the best teams and riders would make it into the biggest races - fat wallets or not. Then came the Pro Tour, which has it's ideals, but does run short some and is clearly financially lead. Next year will be the first in which the 3 grand tours (Giro, TDF & Vuelta) have submitted to become part of the UCI's master plan, thus all of the selected pro Tour teams must field a team in all 3 races, a big ask for some squads, and a ruling which rules out many of the great smaller pro Continental team's we've seen enlightening these great races in recent years - on the one hand the quality of teams should be assured, on the other the =underdogs don't get there chance to shine and take there chances, which could make the racing a tad more sterile,
Anyway, we'll see how it pans out. Meantime here's the list so far;

Yukiya Arashiro, best Asian rider of the season will stay with BBox, which will become Europcar in 2011

Confirmed so far

Omega Pharma Lotto
Team Sky
Garmin Cervelo

Declined so far

Pegasus Racing (Australian fly V)

The top 30 UCI ranked teams based on riders points in 2010 (based on 2011 rosters). In theory the top PRO TOUR 15 squads from 2010 will be offered 2011 slots too. Final call will be 20th November

1 Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
2 Rabobank Cycling Team
3 Garmin-Cervélo
4 HTC-Highroad
5 Omega Pharma-Lotto
6 Lampre-ISD
7 Katusha
8 Sky ProCycling
9 Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Saxo Bank SunGard
11 Team RadioShack
12 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
13 Pro Team Astana
14 Movistar Team
15 BMC Racing Team
16 Euskaltel-Euskadi
17 Geox-TMC
18 Quick Step Cycling Team
19 Cofidis Le Crédit en ligne
20 AG2R
21 FDJ
22 Saur-Sojasun
23 Pegasus Sports
24 Skil-Shimano
25 Acqua e Sapone
26 Colnago-CSF Inox
27 Europcar
28 Androni Giocattoli
29 Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator

30 Veranda's Willems-Accent