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by Shane Stokes
October 9, 2014
Following on from reports casting doubt on Fernando Alonso’s FACT team taking out a licence for the 2015 season, the UCI has confirmed that this is indeed the case.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced the teams that have so far registered for licences for the 2015 season,” it said in a statement today.
“Over the last few months the UCI has had very cordial and productive discussions with Fernando Alonso and his representatives concerning a possible team for 2015.
“Whilst this has not led to a team for 2015, we thank Fernando Alonso for his interest and engagement and look forward to continuing discussions with him and/or his advisers if they wish to pursue that interest further. Our door will always be open to all those who want to invest in the future of our sport.”
As detailed in this article, the Alonso team project has made noises for well over a year, including a statement in September 2013 that it was set to take over the WorldTour licence held by Euskaltel Euskadi.
Up till recently representatives from the team said that they were on course to apply for a WorldTour licence for 2015, but the application deadline came and went without the necessary documents being lodged. Ditto for a Pro Continental licence, although UCI rules would in theory permit a late application provided a daily fine is paid after the standard closing date.
Today’s UCI statement closes the door on that course of action, with the governing body confirming to CyclingTips that FACT has officially stated it will not apply for a 2015 licence of any kind.
The governing body also confirmed details about the teams going for WorldTour and Pro Continental licences.
Licence renewal requests have been received from ten teams who otherwise have WorldTour licences in place for 2015. They need to get UCI approval to retain those.
The teams are as follows:
Ag2r La Mondiale
Astana Pro Team
Lampre – Merida
Giant – Alpecin
Seven other teams applying for a renewal of their WorldTour licence. They are:
BMC Racing Team
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
Etixx – Quick Step
Team Lotto Nl
Tinkoff – Saxo
Trek Factory Racing
From January 1 all approved squads will be known as UCI WorldTeams rather than the current title, UCI ProTeams.
Nineteen teams in all have applied for Pro Continental licences. Sixteen of those held such licences in 2014:
Bora – Argon 18
Bretagne – Seche Environnement
Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
CCC Sprandi Polkowice
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
Drapac Professional Cycling
MTN – Qhubeka
Team Novo Nordisk
Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
Wanty – Groupe Gobert
Three are new applicants to the Pro Continental level, namely:
Cult Energy Pro Cycling
Nippo – Vini Fantini
Roompot Orange Cycling Team
Each team has submitted registration files to the UCI, comprising sponsorship contracts signed by the main partners, the bank guarantee and, for new teams, a description of their structure together with a copy of the deed of incorporation of the paying agent.
Those files will now be studied before the next steps for each team are determined.
According to the UCI, a maximum of 18 WorldTour teams will automatically be registered on November 3, providing no irregularities come to light.
Any teams about which questions arise will be referred to the Licence Commission, which will assess each case.
The latter commission will automatically assess all of the WorldTour applicants. It is understood that the Astana team, which had two positives tests in recent months with the Iglinskiy brothers Maxim and Valentin, will have these details considered.
Also see: Much ado about nothing: Is Fernando Alonso’s team a mirage? [link]