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Astana's ProTour application still not in order, Contador free to go?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 22, 2009, 20:47 BST,
Updated:
October 22, 2009, 22:41 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 22, 2009
Alberto Contador

Alberto Contador

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Sky, Caisse d'Epargne, Saxo Bank and Euskaltel also pending

The International Cycling Union (UCI) released on Thursday a list of all ProTour teams which have fulfilled all requirements for a 2010 license, and five teams did not make that list.

Astana, Caisse d'Epargne, Saxo Bank, Team Sky and Eusktaltel-Euskadi have until November 20th to submit the required information including a budget, sponsorship contracts, a bank guarantee and at least 12 signed rider contracts.

By UCI regulations, riders of all five teams which have not yet met the requirements for a ProTour license can terminate their contracts if they wish.

The standard UCI rider/team contract (2.15.139 article 8.1.f) states, "if, on 20 October of the year preceding a year of registration covered by the present contract, the UCI ProTeam has not submitted a registration file containing the essential documents," the rider may terminate the contract "without notice or liability for damages".

This would include two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who has indicated that he would prefer to leave the Astana team. He has been courted by Quick Step, Caisse d'Epargne and Garmin-Slipstream.

AG2R La Mondiale, Française des Jeux, Footon-Servetto, Garmin-Slipstream, Lampre Farnese Vini, Liquigas-Dommo, Quick-Step Cycling Team, Rabobank Cycling Team, RadioShack, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Team Columbia-HTC, Team Katusha and Team Milram have satisfied all of the requirements for the ProTour license.

"The UCI and Ernst&Young will continue to evaluate all applications, including those of teams not in the above list, which have until 20 November to submit their completed applications. The UCI ProTour Council will make a final decision on UCI ProTeam registrations for the 2010 season after the official deadline of 20 November," a UCI press release stated.

The License Commission is the final step for application approval, and if that panel rejects the file, the UCI ProTour team license would be automatically withdrawn.

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