Did Ricco and Mosquera harm Vacansoleil's WorldTour chances?

Having missed out on a WorldTour licence at the first attempt, Vacansoleil must now appear in front of the UCI's Licence Commission later this month in order to earn its place in the sport's top tier.

While the UCI failed to give a substantiated reason as to why Vacansoleil and also RadioShack must appear in front of the commission but Vacansoleil's General Manager, Daan Luijkx believes it could be down to their dealings with Ricardo Ricco and Ezequiel Mosquera.

The team had been awarded three-year licence last year but teams must pass an audit each year which examines "ethical, financial and administrative criteria" in addition to meeting the UCI's sporting criteria. While Vacansoleil made the top 15 teams to earn automatic consideration for the WorldTour this year, it failed to have its license renewed.

The UCI today said Vacansoleil would be called before the License Commission, "in accordance with article 2.15.071 of the regulations", which stipulates the procedures for teams which were unable to be registered by the UCI.

Ricco was fired in February after he was hospitalized following an alleged contaminated blood transfusion. Mosquera signed in 2010, but has never raced for the team after he returned a positive test for Hydroxyethyl Starch (HES) at the 2010 Vuelta.

"We don't know yet because we've just received an email saying we need to visit the licence commission at the end of the month. We don't know the exact reason but I think it's about either Ricco or Mosquera," Luijkx told Cyclingnews.

"We received a letter from the administrators of the UCI saying everything is okay and we were in the first 15 teams and in the past the UCI wanted to talk about Ricco with us but it never happened. Maybe it will happen now."

While Ricco was fired, Mosquera's case is perhaps more complicated. Although his positive test was announced last year, he has yet to receive a ban from the Spanish Federation.

"Mosquera is still waiting for a final decision from the Spanish Federation after more than one year, and with Ricco it's finished but I think it's normal that the UCI want to know the status with us. Maybe they want to know something."

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