ProTour manager Alain Rumpf is relishing the "climate of trust" which now exists after years of war between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and Tour de France operator Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO). Rumpf described the ProTour's fourth year in existence as one of "transition", in an interview with velo-club.net.
"The most important thing is that relations between ASO and the UCI are restored and a climate of trust between all parties in cycling has been reinstalled," said Rumpf.
While details on the future direction of cycling's highest level are still being sorted, Rumpf spoke positively on the sport's future. Despite the positive outlook, he admitted the progress has come at a cost.
"The credibility of all parties in cycling has been affected by the conflict that has market the sport in recent years," he said. "We must now all work to restore the image of our sport, which requires a strong government."
Rumpf confirmed that there are currently nine teams registered to next year's UCI ProTour, with the remainder to be decided in due course. A working group is also in the process of mapping out details on next year's world calendar.
"To date nine teams are licensed for 2009: Ag2R, Astana, Caisse d'Epargne, Columbia, Garmin-Chipotle, Lampre, Liquigas, Milram and Scott-American Beef," he said. "In addition to Katyusha, most teams whose licenses expires in 2008 have filed a new application, which will be discussed soon by the commission for licenses. It also remains to be seen whether all teams will be registered by the deadline of November 20, especially if they can present a balanced budget and bank guarantee."