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Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere and Tom Boonen.
Decision on final licences pending
Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere has said that he still does not know whether or not his team will obtain a ProTeam licence for the 2011 season.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. “Under normal circumstances, I would not be worried, but this is the UCI, so I’m cautious.”
Quick Step was placed at 18th in the UCI’s ranking of applicants based on their sporting criteria. According to the UCI, the top 15 teams on that list are assured of first tier status, provided that they also meet the required financial, ethical and administrative criteria.
This would leave the teams ranked 16th to 20th to battle it out for the three remaining ProTeam licences. Thus, Quick Step face opposition from Euskaltel-Euskadi, Geox-TMC, Cofidis and AG2R for the final three spots at cycling’s top table.
“Obviously I’m not happy with the new rankings as we are suddenly in 18th place,” Lefevere said. “But teams are subject to the UCI’s rules. Until we can form a united front, it will remain so.”
Quick Step’s UCI points haul suffered in 2010 as a result of Tom Boonen’s injury-compromised season. Similarly, the loss of riders such as Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil) and Carlos Barredo (Rabobank) has had a significant impact on the team’s ranking.
A final decision on the list of UCI ProTeams is expected soon. Omega Pharma-Lotto, Garmin-Cervélo, Rabobank and Sky are already guaranteed their berths, having met all the requisite sporting, financial, ethical and administrative criteria.