Tuesday, December 11, 2012

UCI Names ProTour Teams for 2013

The big news is that Katusha was not named as a ProTour team for 2013, more below this after the list of ProTour teams:

Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Cannondale (formerly Liquigas - Cannondale)
Lampre – Merida (Merida replaces Wilier as bicycle sponsor and becomes co-sponsor)
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team
Sky Procycling
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
Movistar Team (UCI decision of 16 November)
AG2R La Mondiale 2013-2016
Euskaltel Euskadi 2013-2016
Former Rabobank 2013-2014 (note: will be known as Blanco Pro Cycling Team in 2013)
Garmin Sharp 2013-2014
Team Argos–Shimano 2013-2016
Team Saxo – Tinkoff 2013-2014
FDJ for 2013
Lotto Belisol for 2013
RadioShackNissan for 2013

Official statement of Katusha Team regarding their rejection by the UCI:

"At present moment Katusha Team has no information regarding the reasons for the decision of the UCI to reject the request from the team for registration in first division. Team management, riders and staff are extremely surprised by the lack of justification for such a decision made by the UCI. Thus earlier the team, which possesses rider №1 in the world and has finished the season in second place in the UCI World Tour ranking, was informed that it satisfies all possible criteria required for participation in the first division. In fact the only Russian team, where the majority of riders are Russian citizens, has been excluded from participation in races of the World Tour. Thus, this decision of the UCI has suspended Russia a country from participation in cycling competitions of the highest level.

The management of Katusha Team, its riders and staff are surprised by such a quick change of decision, lack of coordination inside the UCI press-service and a complete absence of reasons for such a fast decision.

The UCI which has been established in order to protect the interests of the riders worldwide, on the contrary by its actions completely violates the canons of sports ethics and causes irreparable moral and psychological harm to the athletes before the start of the new season, and the delay in explaining the reasons of the decisions only shows the lack of the significance of these reasons.

In the nearest future the management of the Russian team Katusha intends to investigate thoroughly this incident, first of all in order to give all possible explanations to the riders and staff of the team, as well as to choose a future strategy.

In addition, the Katusha Team is not retreating from the plans that have been made for the next season and is preparing for the official team presentation, which is scheduled for mid-December 2012 in Italy.

The Russian team intends to defend its interests with the help of all possible civilized instruments and methods, including going to court.

Katusha is ready to fight and is stronger than ever."

As referred to in the first paragraph this leaves the number 1 ranked rider in the world, Joaquim Rodriguez, on the number 2 ranked team in the world, without the automatic invitations to the most important races.

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