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Lance Armstrong (Astana) at the 2010 Tour de France presentation
UCI awards Armstrong's new team
The International Cycling Union (UCI) awarded the new RadioShack team of Lance Armstrong a four-year ProTour license on Friday.
Upon completing the examination of the team's request for a ProTour license, the UCI's License Commission granted the license effective from 2010 through 2013. A ProTour license guarantees entry into all ProTour events.
Lance Armstrong announced on July 23, during the Tour de France, that the American company RadioShack would sponsor his new team for the next two years. He secured long-time team manager Johan Bruyneel to make the switch with him from team Astana. Many of his other Astana teammates are following him to the new squad.
RadioShack will start racing at the Tour Down Under in January in Australia. For the team, the other possible early races, according to Armstrong, include the Tour of Murcia, Paris-Nice, La Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Confirmed members of the new RadioShack team are Levi Leipheimer, Sergio Paulinho, Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Bjorn Selander, Sam Bewley, Markel Irizar, Jose Luis Rubiera, Daryl Impey, Ivan Rovny, Ben Hermans, Gert Steegmans, Yaroslav Popovych, and Grégory Rast
In recent weeks, another new team, Team Sky, was awarded a four-year ProTour license while French outfit AG2R La Mondiale had its license extended until the end of the 2012 season. The Italian squad Lampre was awarded a four-year license, while the German team Milram was given ProTour status only through the 2010 season. On the other hand, ProTour licenses have been denied to the French teams Cofidis, le crédit en ligne and Bouygues Télécom.
UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses. As Cyclingnews reported in September, in addition to the ProTour teams, three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, will be guaranteed entry into the 2010 ProTour events by merit of their rankings in the World Rankings.
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