UCI releases final list of Pro Continental teams for 2012
by Shane Stokes/www.velonation.com
The UCI has issued the final list of Pro Continental teams for 2012, adding seven squads to the fifteen which were previously confirmed on November 2nd.
The lineup includes two teams which had originally applied for ProTeam status while omits a third. The one which isn’t part of next year’s second division is the Geox TMC/Bike Live setup, which tried to get a ProTeam licence, but was left in the lurch when the Geox sponsor walked away.
Its management stated that it wanted to secure Pro Continental status as a plan B, but missed out on that due to the inability to find a replacement backer.
The two would-be ProTeams who have instead been granted Pro Continental status are Project 1T4I, formerly known as the Skil Shimano team, and Team Europcar.
Five others have been granted the licence after UCI Licence commission meetings on November 18th and 23rd. They are the Spanish Andalucia team, the Chinese Champion System setup, the British-registered Farnese Vini, Russia’s Rusvelo and the Irish-registered Utensilnord Named squad, which is actually based in Denmark.
Champion System’s approval is an important step in the globalisation of the sport, due to the fact that it is the first Pro Continental Asian team.