The Katusha team has been issued a Professional Continental licence by the UCI. The troubled Russian team is still awaiting a decision on a WorldTour licence, which it was earlier denied.
“Yesterday (Monday, ed.) the UCI has officially confirmed the registration of the Russian team Katusha as a Professional Continental team,” the team said on its website. “Having received the second division license Katusha Team is still waiting for the final decision of CAS in order to obtain the UCI World Tour license in 2013.”
The Professional Continental licence will allow the team to ride in the Tour de San Luis next week in Argentina.
Katusha was denied the WorldTour licence due to “ethical grounds”, the UCI said in December. The team has applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a ruling on the matter. The court last week turned down the emergency request for a provisional licence, but said that “ hearing will be scheduled shortly in order for a final decision to be issued as quickly as possible.” The hearing is expected to be held later in January.
Joaquim Rodriguez, who finished the 2012 season atop the UCI WorldTour rankings, has said that he will leave the Katusha team if it does not get a WorldTour licence. Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov has said that the Spaniard must stay with the team until the final decision is made. Rodriguez leaves Spain today to travel to San Luis.