Lampre granted temporary ProTour license

UCI gives Italian team two months to rectify finances

The Lampre-Farnese Vini team will be able to begin the 2010 season, but will do so with the weight of a possible premature end to the team on its shoulders. The UCI announced today that its License Commission accepted a proposal to grant the team a temporary ProTour license until March 31.

The commission rejected the team's license last fall after auditors noted "serious administrative non-compliances" in its application.

The UCI then recommended the temporary license to give Giuseppe Saronni's squad more time to meet the requirements for a license.

Should the team fail to meet those requirements, it will not be eligible for a demotion to Professional Continental status and would likely cease to exist, according to UCI president Pat McQuaid.

"If Lampre has not set ts financial house in order on time, the team will certainly be withdrawn from the peloton," McQuaid said, speaking from the ProTour's first race of the season, the Tour Down Under in Australia, where Lampre was notably absent.

"Lampre will not only lose its ProTour license, but would not be eligible for a Professional Continental license. We have given the team enough time to do everything they need to so that the staff and riders do not become unemployed."

The team of Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi is currently training in Tuscany in preparation for the squad's debut race for the year, the Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria which runs from January 30 through February 2.

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