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The Vacansoleil team on stage for pre-race introduction.
Vacansoleil 12th in UCI's sporting hierarchy of teams for 2011
Vacansoleil-DMC has revealed today that it requested that the UCI not count Ezequiel Mosquera’s world ranking points when calculating the team’s position in its classification for the sporting criteria which will determine which applicants for 2011 ProTeam licences will enter the sport's top tier.
Mosquera’s transfer from Xacobeo Galicia to Vacansoleil was announced just before it was revealed that he had returned an adverse analytical finding for Hydroxyethyl starch at the Vuelta a España in September. A verdict has yet to be reached in the Spaniard’s case.
“In the battle for a clean sport we think it is inappropriate to score with the points of Mosquera,” Vacansoleil team manager Daan Luijkx explained. “We believe it is fair towards other teams and the fans to keep the Spanish rider excluded for 2011. The non counting of his points has no influence on the steps to be taken towards the rider.
“As mentioned before, we are awaiting the results of the pending investigation before making decision on the future of the rider. We are confident the authorities will do a proper job.”
Vacansoleil-DMC was positioned in 12th place in the UCI’s ranking of the sporting criteria of the teams that have applied for ProTeam and Pro Continental status for 2011, meaning that it is still in contention for a ProTeam berth. Thus far, just four teams have had their place in cycling’s top tier confirmed: Rabobank, Garmin-Cervélo, Team Sky and Omega Pharma-Lotto. The remaining ProTeam licences are expected to be allocated on November 20.
Vacansoleil enjoyed a successful 2010 in spite of failing to be invited to any of the Grand Tours and subsequently launched an ambitious transfer campaign in order to bolster its roster for next season. As well as Mosquera, the team also Stijn Devolder from Quick Step. Meanwhile the controversial Riccardo Riccò arrived at the end of the summer, although his presence failed to secure an invitation to the Tour of Lombardy.
“The team got 74 top-3 spots in 2010 with 19 different riders. These results were gained during the entire season which is a distinguishing quality of the team,” Luijkx said. “The core of the team is maintained and with Devolder, De Gendt and Riccò we believe to be ready for the level of first division.
“I am proud of the team that we are among the best 15 teams of the World based on sporting level and I am hopeful that we will get the license. It would be a great reward for the team if it gets the First Division license.”