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Astana Twitter reactions

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Volkswagens for the Astana team

Volkswagens for the Astana team
(Image credit: James Huang)
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2012 Olympic gold medallist Alexander Vinokourov ahead of his last ever race in San Sebastian

2012 Olympic gold medallist Alexander Vinokourov ahead of his last ever race in San Sebastian
(Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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The whole Astana squad

The whole Astana squad
(Image credit: El Pedal de Frodo/www.elpedaldefrodo.com)
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When the UCI announced Wednesday that Astana had retained its WorldTour licence despite several positive tests this season and a recent barrage of new doping allegations, the cycling social media world started spinning with a large volume of comments criticizing the UCI Licencing Commission's decision.

Astana started the ball rolling with a Tweet announcing the decision above a photograph of a yellow-jersey-wearing Vincenzo Nibali crossing a  finish line at the Tour de France while looking to the heavens. The reactions were swift.

Scott Mercier, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong who was key to the USADA investigation of the former Tour de France winner, pulled no punches.

"No hope for cycling - Let's stop the charade," he wrote in a series of Tweets. "#Cycling is now officially worse than the #WWE - At least the WWE doesn't pretend to be clean. @BrianCooksonUCI Disheartening that you didn't have the #guts to stand up to #astana sure, they are one of many, but it would've been a start."

Mercier also suggested the UCI re-consider its treatment of Armstrong. 

"Time to Give Lance his Tours "back"... like he ever "lost" them in the first place - All the guys he beat were on the same stuff ," Mercier wrote.

Peter Kennaugh, the 25-year-old Team Sky rider who won a stage and the overall at both Coppi e Bartoli and the Tour of Austria, took aim at some of the riders involved in the Padova investigation rather than the UCI's decision to award Astana a division-one licence for next year.

"Riders who were only 'trained' by Ferrari I mean come are you really that stupid ? And do you think everyone else is to?" Kennaugh Tweeted. "What a joke this sport can be! The clean riders of the peloton need to get together and push these cheats out enough is enough."

Following is a sampling of Twitter comments from other professional riders, fans and observers:

Marijn de Vries ‏@marijnfietst – Professional rider with Giant-Alpecin women's team
I can't even express how disappointed I am, @UCI_cycling and @BrianCooksonUCI. How do you ever expect people to start trusting us again?!

Ryan Trebon @ryantrebon – Two-time US cyclo-cross champion
The @UCI_cycling and @BrianCooksonUCI have failed to show true leadership and a commitment to change the culture of this sport.
Just kicking the can down the road is all they are doing.

The Inner Ring @inrng – Cycling observer
Astana can get a licence for 2015 but escaping Alexandr Vinokourov's toxic image is going to be a lot harder

Nicolas Geay @Nicogeay - French cycling journalist with France Télévisions
Les coureurs et le staff d'Astana boivent le champagne !!! (Riders and staff of Astana drinking champagne) [with a photo of said champagne being toasted and drink]