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UCI process to determine 2012 WorldTour teams underway

By:
Daniel Benson
Published:
October 6, 2011, 06:47,
Updated:
October 6, 2011, 07:47
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 6, 2011
UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland

UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland

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Final decisions will not come until end of November

The initial phase of applications and registration for WorldTour and Pro Contintental licenses has been finalied but a number of teams will need to wait until November 20 before the UCI's Licence Commission confirm the complete status of all WorldTour applicants.

According to the UCI's handbook there are number of key dates for first and second division team applications in the coming weeks which will determine their future status.

The first is October 15, when auditors Ernst & Young releases its initial report on the full documentation that was submitted by October 1. This information will be release to the teams and the UCI.

Teams then have a short period to submit further and final documentation to Ernst & Young.

This third party will study the financial documents and budgets proposed by applicants. They are also tasked with making sure that rider contracts comply with the UCI's regulations and that the bank guarantee is sufficient. For first division teams the guarantee stands at CHF 975,000, while second tier teams must find CHF 300,000.

The Licence Commission also plays a key role in the process. The UCI handbook states that the commission "grants or withdraws the licences of a first division team," but that "the commission has a limited leeway in reaching these decisions, which must be based on objective information".

The key element of this is that the UCI carries out its own evaluation of teams and then submits its appraisal of teams to the Commission. Whether or not the Commission has ever overturned a decision from the UCI is unknown.

Sports, ethics, finance and admin

Teams applying for licences are judged on four criteria: sporting, ethical financial and administration.

On the sporting side a ranking of the top 15 teams is drawn up. The teams ranked from 16th-20th are then "assessed by the Licence Commission as regards to sporting criterion". Those teams that fall below the 20th spot can't achieve a WorldTour licence and can only receive a Pro Continental one. Importantly, only documents sent before October 20 can be considered for this – the same day that the transfer window ends.

With regard to ethics, the Commission looks at anti-doping cases, both in the works and previously committed and the team's attitude in the fight against drugs in sport. Unsporting behaviour, breaches of UCI regulations, unusual financial operations and criminal activity are all taken into consideration.

Ernst & Young also analyse the financial backbone of teams, as well as the administrative elements involved.

Key dates

15/10/2011 – Ernst and Young announces its initial report based on the full documentation submitted on 1/10/2011

15-21/10/2011 – the deadline for regularisation of registration documentation (5 working days following the issuing of the EY report)

20/10/2011 – End of the transfer window

20/10/2011 – Submission of at least 15 rider contracts to EY. The contracts must be signed by both parties in order to be valid.

1-31/10/2011 – Documentation studied by the UCI and Ernst & Young, evaluation on the basis of four criteria (sporting, ethical, financial, administrative)

31/10/2011 – Date for the final Ernst & Young report on the full documentation submitted by all teams.

1/11/2011 – The ruling on registration of 1st division teams with a current licence with meet the criteria and for the teams applying for registration in the 2nd division whose documentation was in order.

2/11/2011-10/12/2011 - The Licence Commission will consider the documentation of teams not registered directly on 1/11/2011 and hold hearings.

20/11/2011 – Announcement from the Licence Commission ruling on the allocation of the remaining 1st division licences and the registration of the other teams in the 2nd division.

1/12/2011 – Submission of the full rosters of riders

1/12/2011 - Teams must decide on their team kits, supplying the UCI with an image of shorts and jersey. The UCI can then approve or decline kit.

10/12/2011 – Final decision from the Licence Commission