PARIS, Nov 21, 2011 (AFP) – Europcar the team of Thomas Voeckler the
long-time leader of this year’s Tour de France was demoted from the elite list
of professional cycling teams on Monday by the sport’s governing body the
International Cycling Union (UCI).
Spanish team Geox also lost their elite status though that was anticipated
as their main sponsor had pulled its support recently.
They have been replaced by two French teams FDJ and AG2R La Mondiale with
Spanish outfit Euskaltel’s losing out.
The UCI have handed out 16 team licenses thus far with a maximum of 18
The last two places are likely to go to new Australian team GreenEdge and
“The decisions on those two will be delivered at another time,” the UCI
said in a statement.
“The commission is awaiting supplementary documents that those two teams
have been asked to provide.”
The WorldTour license gains the team an automatic entry for the most
prestigious races, notably the three major stage Tours (Tour de France, the
Giro, and the Tour of Spain) and which they are obliged to race in.
Teams allocated with First Division (WorldTour) licenses
Astana (KAZ), BMC and Garmin (USA), Lampre and Liquigas (ITA), Movistar
(ESP), Rabobank and Vacansoleil (NED), Sky (GBR)
Katusha (RUS) and Lotto (BEL) till 2015
FDJ (FRA) and Omega Pharma (BEL) till 2014
Saxo Bank (DEN), Euskaltel (ESP) and AG2R La Mondiale (FRA) till 2012.