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2011 Dwars door Vlaanderen podium (l-r): Geraint Thomas, Nick Nuyens, Tyler Farrar
UCI rules mean a WorldTour team may miss out
The organisers of Dwars door Vlaanderen have a tough choice to make as UCI rules dictate the number of WorldTour teams that can participate in the race, which takes place on March 21.
The 1.1 category race - held for the 67th time in Waregem, Belgium - has received requests from 14 of the 18 WorldTour teams, with the exceptions of Liquigas, Euskaltel, RadioShack and BMC.
The problem is that the rules from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) stipulate that in a 1.1 race only 50 percent of the participating teams are allowed to be from the WorldTour level.
“With 25 teams at the start the outcome is we can only accept 13 ProTeams. We asked the UCI for an exception on this rule but
they didn’t allow it so one team will have to be disappointed. We will make the decision based on the quality of the riders and will decide on the matter at the end of this month,” Yvan Vanhoucke, press officer of Dwars door Vlaanderen, wrote in a press release.
A solution might be found from the recent conclusion of the CAS in the Contador case. As all the recent results from the Spaniard have been annulled his Saxo Bank team loses out on the WorldTour points gained by Contador in the previous season. With Contador holding 68 per cent of all the Saxo Bank team points the Danish squad might lose their WorldTour status.
The team led by Danish manager Bjarne Riis shouldn’t fear for its spot on the Dwars door Vlaanderen startlist though as they delivered the winner in the semi-classic at the two most recent editions of the cobbled race with Matti Breschel in 2010 and Nick Nuyens in 2011.