The UCI has released the names of the 18 teams that will make up the ProTour in 2008. Nineteen licenses were applied for, with only Unibet.com not being approved.
There were 20 teams registered as ProTour teams in 2007, but thanks to the withdrawal of Discovery Channel cycling team only 19 teams applied for the 2008 license. Each year teams with a ProTour license must present a registration document to the UCI. The documents are required by the UCI to insure that each team can meet legal and financial requirements.
Unibet.com failed to present the necessary documents to the UCI by the due date of November 20. As a result the chairman of the council of the UCI (CUPT) has, according to the rules, asked the license commission to begin a procedure to find out the reason behind the late submission of the request. Unibet.com may have stopped as sponsor, but manager Jacques Hanegraaf is still searching for new investors for the 2008 season.
The Astana team has been approved thanks to the guarantee from the Kazakh national federation and the new team management. Those guarantees are in respect to the obligations that were entered into by the previous sponsor as well as the fight against doping. Last year the Kazakh team was registered with a Swiss license, for 2008 they will be registered in Luxembourg.
Team High Road's (formerly T-Mobile) registration was approved, but is under review. The Council selected the team on basis of the documents filed on November 20 by T-Mobile. The UCI is expecting further information on the team management and from their accountants (Ernst & Young) in connection with the new structure, before the team is officially accepted.
The 18 teams that make up the 2008 ProTour are:
Ag2r-La Mondiale (Fra)
Bouygues Telecom (Fra)
Caisse d'Epargne (Fra)
Crédit Agricole (Fra)
Française des Jeux (Fra)
High Road (previously T-Mobile) (under review)
Saunier Duval (Spa)