The Française des Jeux team failed to secure ProTeam status for 2011 because the team did not submit contracts for three of its riders before the UCI’s application deadline.
UCI press officer Enrico Carpani has told Cyclingnews that contracts for Anthony Roux, Dominique Rollin and the neo-professional Geoffrey Soupe were sent to the UCI five days after the deadline of the 20th October.
“It's sad to say but it's the truth. Française des Jeux would have got their ProTour licence if their application was perfect and if they had sent all the contracts to the UCI on time,” Carpani said.
According to the UCI sporting hierarchy used to evaluate the quality of the ProTeams for 2011, Française des Jeux was 21st, just outside the top twenty teams and so was considered not to have fulfilled the sporting criterion necessary for a ProTeam.
However if Anthony Roux's points had been included in calculations, it appears that Française des Jeux would have been 20th in the rankings, ahead of Ag2r-La Mondiale, the only French squad to attain ProTeam status. Cofidis, ranked 19th, will ride as in Pro Continental like they did in 2010, alongside Saur-Sojasun and Europcar which didn't ask a ProTeam licence. Roux scored points for a stage victory in the Vuelta and at the Circuit Sarthe in 2009 and for a stage victory at the Circuit de Lorraine in 2010.
The new UCI sporting hierarchy and ProTeam evaluation process was decided last June at the UCI ProTour Council meeting in Birmingham, England. It is based on the results obtained in 2009 and 2010 by the 15 best riders in their 2011 squads, taking into account all the events on all the circuits of the UCI International Calendar. In addition, the calculation of a team’s sporting value takes into consideration the collective value of the team based on placings in team classifications of stage races on the UCI World Calendar and HC events on UCI Continental Circuits during 2010.
The UCI refuses to publish any further details or points totals, insisting that decisions on ProTeam licences are made by the independent Licence Commission.
Française des Jeux can appeal against the UCI's decision before December 10. Cyclingnews understands that the team is looking into this possibility and is doing an audit of its ProTeam application case.
Team manager Marc Madiot, refused to comment.