The International Cycling Union granted "wild card" status to 16 Professional Continental teams today. The list already included the BMC Racing Team, which was given the status ahead of the Tour Down Under in order for it to compete there.
The De Rosa-Stac Plastic and Voralberg squads were both denied wild card designations.
The “wild card” status is required for Professional Continental teams before they can be given invitations to ProTour events, but is not necessarily required for Historic races. The status is awarded based on strict sporting, legal, administrative and ethical criteria.
The designation was crafted to resolve objections from organisers, teams and riders who argued that any Professional Continental teams which were invited to ProTour races should have to meet the same criteria for transparency.
All ProTour and Pro Conti teams must be enrolled in the UCI's biological passport in order to gain their racing licenses. The wild card status adds additional requirements above and beyond the Pro Continental license standards.
In December, 19 teams applied to be given the status, including the Rock Racing team which was not granted a Professional Continental license.
17 of the remaining 18 teams were given the status with De Rosa-Stac Plastic being denied.
The CCC Polsat Polkowice, Scott-Marcondes and Voralberg-Corratec teams did not apply for wild card status.
2010 Wild Card teams:
Acqua & Sapone
Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Carmiooro - NGC
Cervélo Test Team
Cofidis, le crédit en ligne
Colnago - CSF Inox
ISD - Neri
Saur - Sojasun
Skil - Shimano
Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
Xacobeo Galicia Team