Alexander Vinokourov and his Astana Team are certain of being invited to the three Grand Tours next year whether they have a ProTour license or not. As reported in www.sportwereld.be, Jean-Francois Pescheux, head of the Tour de France organizer ASO, has told Astana team manager Mario Kummer that the team will be included.
However, Walter Godefroot said that he has not given up hopes of receiving that license. "There was indeed that negative recommendation of the license commission, but at that time our filing was not complete. Now it is. It would be logical that Astana receives ProTour status. We fulfill all the conditions." An announcement concerning the last ProTour licenses is expected momentarily.
Responding to UCI Chairman Pat McQuaid's remarks that Astana had no chance for the license, Godefroot said, "McQuaid has only been in charge for one year. Maybe he still needs to learn his job."