Skip to main content

Australian and American teams likely for '09 ProTour start

Alain Rumpf

Alain Rumpf (Image credit: JF Quenet)

ProTour manager Alain Rumpf confirmed in Plouay on the weekend that neither Relax nor Barloworld Professional Continental teams have applied for a ProTour license, but that discussions have started for an Australian and an American team to enter the ProTour in 2009. The confirmation of ongoing discussions follows noises made by organisations from both nations regarding their future in the ProTour.

America's Team Slipstream has been actively working towards a ProTour licence in 2009, while a corporate backer in Australia has also pledged money towards a predominately Australian team in 2009.

"We have been enchanted by project presented to us by the Australians [ with national coach Shayne Bannan behind the project - ed.] and we have met the promoters of the Slipstream concept," Rumpf explained. "Jonathan Vaughters has told us that 2008 is too early for them. They reckon their sport level isn't good enough for the all calendar yet but they are determined to be there the following year.

"We have also met their financial supporter Doug Ellis," added Rumpf. "Their philosophy is very interesting. It fits into our intentions to globalize cycling."

In 2009 the UCI ProTour also might open its doors to a team from Eastern Europe, with Rumpf welcoming Oleg Tinkoff to bid for a ProTour spot. "He arrived in cycling not well informed," Rumpf said. "As he said himself, he made a few mistakes but with quality and transparency, he's more than welcome to bid for the ProTour."

Tinkoff admitted himself that he was wrong to sign controversial riders like Danilo Hondo, Tyler Hamilton and Jörg Jaksche and he has since changed the direction of his Professional Continental squad.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1