ProTour applications

The UCI has announced that six teams have applied for licences to become part of its top-level...

The UCI has announced that six teams have applied for licences to become part of its top-level ProTour structure from 2006. The ProTour currently numbers 20 teams, all of whom have the right and obligation to take part in ProTour races.

One of the applications is a renewal, the other five are from current Continental pro teams wanting to move up to the top level. Doubts about its long-term financing meant the Fassa Bortolo team was only granted a one-year licence when the first group of ProTeams were decided at the end of 2005. Fassa Bortolo's management company, Silver Team S.r.l. has therefore applied for a renewal of its licence.

The other five team management companies (and their current major sponsors) applying for licences are France Cyclisme (AG2R Prévoyance), Red Team S.r.l. (Acqua&Sapone - Adria Mobil), Blue Sea Services LLC (Naturino-Sapore di Mare), GD Comunidad Valenciana (Comunidad Valenciana), and Bono Del Ciclismo - Selle Italia (Selle Italia-Colombia).

Three of these teams were Division I squads in 2003 or 2004 under the previous structure. Naturino-Sapore di Mare is the team known as Domina Vacanze in 2003 and 2004 (the current Domina Vacanze team is not related - same sponsor, different riders and management), while Comunidad Valenciana is a continuation of the former Kelme team. Just to keep things nice and confusing, the current Acqua&Sapone - Adria Mobil shares some of the management team of the 2002 Division 1 team of that name, but general manager at the time Vincenzo Santoni now runs the Naturino-Sapore di Mare team.

According to the UCI, the final decision on ProTeam licences will happen after a decision is taken on the team registration on the basis of the financial audit by Ernst&Young. This should take place as per regulations on October 25 2005.

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