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15 teams apply for Pro Continental status
The UCI today named 18 teams which have either applied for a new WorldTour license or a renewal of an existing one, and the teams which have licences through the 2013 season.
Of the 18 teams in the 2012 WorldTour, only Lotto-Belisol has not been included on the list issued by the UCI today, but that is not unusual. Last year it left Garmin off its initial announcement. The application process is not completed until November 1.
A UCI spokesman confirmed to Cyclingnews that Lotto Belisol was missing documents in its application: "Based upon art. 2.15.069 bis (for ProTeams) and 2.16.014 (for Conti Pro) teams are requested to provide with some documents. If they are missing to do it, they are simply not on the list, and their rider are free to break their contracts."
All of the other existing WorldTour teams are seeking to be in the sport's top division next season: AG2R, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Garmin-Sharp, Rabobank and Saxo Bank - Tinkoff are seeking renewal of licenses, while Argos-Shimano is trying once again to step up to the big league.
All of the teams, including 15 squads who bid for Professional Continental licenses, must now face an evaluation of their budget, sponsorship contracts, rider contracts and the deposit of a bank guarantee before they can be guaranteed a 2013 license, regardless of whether they are renewing or in possession of a license for the coming season.
Once teams pass this evaluation, they are still not guaranteed entry into the WorldTour: the UCI then sorts them in its own ranking, and automatically gives the top 15 teams a license.
The remaining teams, if more than 18 have passed the evaluation process, are subjected to further evaluation to determine which teams fill the final three spots.
The UCI's list also gives some insight into sponsorship changes for the coming year: Liquigas is no longer listed with Cannondale, Merida joins Lampre, and BigMat is no longer listed with FDJ. In the Pro Continental ranks, Wanty replaces Verandas Willems with the Accent Jobs team, Baloise joins Topsport Vlaanderen and Farnese Vini becomes Vini Fantini.
UCI ProTeams in possession of a UCI WorldTour licence for 2013:
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Lampre – Merida
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team
Teams applying for a UCI WorldTour licence or requesting the renewal of a UCI WorldTour licence:
AG2R La Mondiale
Rabobank Cycling Team
Team Argos – Shimano
Team Saxo – Tinkoff
UCI Professional Continental Teams:
Accent Jobs – Wanty
Bardiani – CSF Inox
CCP Polsat Polkowice
Champion System Pro Cycling Team
Landbouwkrediet – Euphony
MTN – Qhubeka
Team NetApp – Endura
Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team