The UCI on Monday released a list of the 18 teams that will carry ProTeam status for 2011. The Geox, led by Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre, did not make the cut. Nor did Cofidis. Both teams will carry Continental Pro status next year, meaning they can compete in top-level races only with an invitation.
2011 UCI ProTeams:
U.S.: Garmin-Cervelo, RadioShack, HTC, BMC
Belgium: Omega Pharma, Quick Step
Spain: Euskaltel, Movistar
Italy: Lampre, Liquigas
Netherlands: Rabobank, Vacansoleil
Denmark: Saxo Bank
France: AG2R-La Mondiale
Great Britain: Sky
Luxembourg: Luxembourg Pro Cycling
The U.S. team of BMC did make the step up, as did the Dutch Vacansoleil squad.
BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue said the status will help the team reach its goals.
“We can bring in young riders, for example, and build with them for the future — already looking forward to Paris-Roubaix or the Classics — in two or three years,” Lelangue said in a team statement. “But we still have to race well to preserve this level and be sure at the end of the year we can stay ProTeam for the upcoming years.”
Selecting the ProTeams
On Nov. 2 the UCI released its “sporting criteria” ranking of the top 42. The top 15 teams on that list were automatic ProTeam picks if they satisfied other requirements.
The UCI License Commission chose the remaining three ProTeams from among the teams ranked 16th to 20th: Euskaltel, Geox, Quick Step, Cofidis and Ag2r.
The panel chose Euskaltel, Quick Step and Ag2R, even though Cofidis was ranked higher than Ag2r and Geox was ranked higher than Quick Step and Ag2r.
In choosing the final three, the commission considered ethical, financial and administrative criteria. Also the commission could consider extenuating circumstances (such as rider injuries) that may have affected a team’s sporting criteria ranking.