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Fewer French teams in top tier in 2010

Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures) is currently second in the UCI's Europe Tour.

Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures) is currently second in the UCI's Europe Tour. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

French cycling will have only two ProTour teams in the peloton in 2010 following the UCI's decision to deny the renewal of the Cofidis and Bouygues Telecom licenses to the sport's top tier. Both teams will instead seek Professional Continental status for the coming season, the French "Ligue nationale de cyclisme" announced Friday.

The Française des Jeux and AG2R teams will remain in the ProTour, while the sole French Professional Continental team in 2009, Agritubel, has disbanded following the loss of its sponsor. 

The Besson Chaussures-Sojasun squad will seek a promotion to the Professional Continental ranks following a successful season in which it was the top-ranked division three team in Europe. The squad was ranked fifth in the European Tour, and Jimmy Casper is currently battling with Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) for the individual title.

Remaining at the Continental level are Auber 93, Bretagne-Schuller and Roubaix-Lille-Métropole, making a total of eight professional cycling teams in France for 2010, down from nine in 2009.

The licenses are still pending UCI approval.

 

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