Cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, on Tuesday confirmed just nine teams in the sport’s first division for 2014, requiring nine teams to appear before the License Commission before they receive a ProTeam license for the season.
Among the teams up for review are Lotto-Belisol and Argos-Shimano, which, according to the UCI, “on the grounds of certain irregularities which were still present in their respective file at the time of the drawing up of the UCI assessment.”
Ag2r La Mondiale, Belkin, BMC Racing, Cannondale, FDJ.fr, Garmin-Sharp, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Katusha, and Saxo Bank, each received the nod to take part in the UCI WorldTour, the sport’s collection of top events, in 2014. However, Sky, Astana, Lampre-Merida, Movistar, and Orica-GreenEdge are renewing their licenses and must appear before the licensing board. New applicant Europcar and Trek Factory Racing, which purchased its license from RadioShack-Leopard, must also see the commission before receiving their go-ahead to race on the WorldTour in 2014.
“On the basis of the files received by the required deadlines and following their evaluation in collaboration with UCI-appointed auditor EY, the UCI proceeded with the registration of the teams listed below in either the first or second divisions for the 2014 season,” the UCI said in a press release. “It should be noted that to date, only first division teams with continuing licenses which meet the required sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria as well as teams seeking to be registered in the second division which have provided files considered to be in compliance, in accordance with ethical, financial and administrative criteria, have been registered by the UCI.”
Argos-Shimano officials told VeloNews on Tuesday evening the delay in the team’s application was a question of paperwork linked to its new title sponsor coming on board for the 2014 season.
“Due to the recent change in our main sponsor, we are not yet registered with the UCI WorldTour. Some documents about the change in sponsorship need to be submitted,” an Argos team official told VeloNews via email.
Lotto-Belisol officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The UCI also confirmed 16 Pro Continental teams. Bretagne Séché Environnement must stand before the Licensing Commission due to irregularities in its application. The 16 second-division teams including U.S. outfits Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealthcare. The other 14 Pro Continental teams include Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani-CSF, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, CCC Polsat Polkowice, Cofidis, Colombia, Drapac, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka, RusVelo, NetApp-Endura, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, and Yellow Fluo.
“Shortly after November 25, the UCI will communicate a first series of decisions of the License Commission concerning the awarding of first division licences and registration in first or second division,” the UCI said. “The final decisions of the License Commission will be communicated on December 10.”