Team Europcar happy to avoid WorldTour status

Team Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has confirmed that the French team has not applied for a place in the 2013 WorldTour, claiming he is happy to stay as a Professional Continental team, knowing that the results of team leaders Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland will ensure wild card invitations to most of the major races, including the Tour de France.

The UCI revealed the list of 18 teams that had applied for WorldTour and Professional Continental licences last week. Argos-Shimano was the only current Professional Continental team to apply for a WorldTour place.

“We didn’t apply this year,” Bernaudeau told the French website "I don’t have the means to be in the WorldTour. You need thirty riders and it means a very heavy race programme. I didn’t have the possibility to increase my budget and to sign extra riders. We will focus on the races we can do well in and I’m sure we’ll we have an even better season than in 2012. The sponsors trust me, they’re happy and there is no interference.”

Bernaudeau insisted his team was good enough to be in the WorldTour and is confident he will secure wild card invitations to key 2013 objectives. Team Europcar rode most of the Classics and WorldTour stage races but was not invited to the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a España.

"In sporting terms, our record is good and we are part of the 20 best teams in the world. We would have been accepted in World Tour," the Frenchman said on the Team Europcar website.

"We’re very confident for 2013. We intend to be at Tirreno-Adriatico, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Flanders."

Sebastien Turgot finished second behind Tom Boonen at Paris-Roubaix, and Thomas Voeckler won two stages and the climber’s polka-dot jersey at the Tour de France, while Pierre Rolland also won a mountain stage and finished eighth overall.

Sprinter Bryan Coquard is the only significant new signing for Team Europcar for 2013. The young Frenchman won the silver medal in the Omnium on the track at the London Olympic Games and was second in the Under 23 world road race championships.

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