The wait continues for some of the teams applying for a UCI ProTour licence.
Marcel Kittel's Argos-Shimano team is fighting it out against Team Saxo-Tinkoff for the final position. The German sprinting ace believes Argos hold the advantage over their Danish counterparts, "When we look at the facts, I think in every criteria we are above Saxo Bank. That is what I've heard," he told Cycling News HD.
Kittel was one of the most prolific winners of 2012 taking 13 in total, more than Saxo-Tinkoff have won as a team. Added to John Degenkolb's 12, including five Vuelta stages, the team are looking in pretty good shape. Other than Alberto Contador's Vuelta a España victory the Bjarne Riis' team have failed to win a WorldTour race all season. Contador's points will not count towards the team's total, as he is returning from a ban.
ProTour licences aren't only awarded for points earned. Teams also have to fulfil a number of sporting criteria, including ethics. Kittel believes the Argos team come up top trumps on that one too, "I think our team represents strong ethical values. That is what makes us the team for the last spot in the WorldTour."
"It isn't for nothing that we have the criteria for ethics. If we have it and then we don't apply it to the teams then we don't need it. We have it now and we should make the difference between those teams when it is for a WorldTour licence. I expect that it is going to happen."
This is the second time the Dutch team have applied for a ProTour licence. They were denied it last season, after missing out on a place in the top 20 rank teams. Argos-Shimano and Saxo-Tinkoff will find out their fate on Monday December 10.
The full interview with Marcel Kittel will feature in Cycling News HD's season preview in a couple of weeks. This week's issue takes a look back at the world championships in Limburg, including in-depth analysis and stunning photography from all of the road and track events.
Time trial silver medallist Taylor Phinney talks about coming close to being the youngest world champion in history. "It feels pretty good. I actually watched a replay of the race on Italian television and the podium was on and I looked kind of angry."
Elsewhere, double world time trial champion Judith Arndt talks about her final race and bowing out in style. "I think it was the perfect race for me and I got a lot of support and everything worked out on the day so. It was a happy day."
We also have the second of our interviews with Marianne Vos, who soloed to victory on home soil in the women's road race for her second road world title. "I thought when we were finishing in front of Buckingham Palace that it couldn't get any better, but then I went onto the Cauberg for the final time at that was better."
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