French team "victims of points system" and will remain at Pro Continental level
Following confirmation that the AG2R-La Mondiale, FDJ and Euskaltel-Euskadi teams are to receive World Tour licenses in 2012, Europcar boss Jean-René Bernaudeau has commented on the UCI's decision not to allocate his team with the precious automatic entry to the world's greatest races.
The French team has already spent this year at Pro Continental level and despite its 21 victories, the fourth overall placing at the Tour de France of Thomas Voeckler and the overall win of the Tour's white jersey for best young rider by Pierre Rolland, the squad could not convince the UCI of rewarding it with a World Tour license.
"We have just ended a magnificent season but we are victims of the points system," Bernaudeau commented. "You have to know that the white jersey does not bring any points. We have given the people a lot of emotion and happiness, but that also does not bring any points. There is a world hierarchy and we respect that."
The allocation of a license, amongst other criteria, relies heavily on a team's UCI points tally, a complex system of evaluating the team's sporting value. Europcar has not met all of the UCI's criteria and will therefore continue as a Professional Continental team next season - but Bernaudeau wasn't worried.
"That will not prevent us from pedaling," he added. "We have succeeded a fabulous season on Pro Continetal level and we hope to be even better in 2012. We will be the first to ask for invites to certain WorldTour events. Last season, these races - particularly Paris-Nice, the Dauphiné and the Tour de France - were quite successful for us."
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