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Cofidis, Bouygues Telecom denied ProTour status

Mar 10, 2009
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Disappointed about this. Irritatingly the report doesn't mention anything about the reasons why they have been cut other than their low standing, which was not a decisive part of the criteria to my knowledge - does anyone know what actually are the criteria, aside the bond, the number of riders employed, and the race obligation?

I know Cofidis were in two minds last season about resigning for the Protour. Bouygues Telecom were looking like being sponsorless right up to the double stage win in the TDF. I am biased in being a fan of Bouygues Telecom, but I would have thought that their display of good attacking teams, their exemplary anti-doping record and their policy of developing youth would have been big pluses over many others. Perhaps they simply don't have enough money for them to be big enough for the UCI's glamour tour.

This all leads to the question of why have this huge decision, which would be a deciding factor for cyclists planning their careers, coming AFTER most transfers are decided / announced?
 
I know this probably belongs in the Clinic but isnt that a nice message to send to teams with a great record of anti-doping like Boguyes Telecom, UCI: you are probably one of the few clean teams but Au revoir, instead we will keep the likes of Lampre and still consider Radioshack and Astana. The UCI, clueless.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I know this probably belongs in the Clinic but isnt that a nice message to send to teams with a great record of anti-doping like Boguyes Telecom, UCI: you are probably one of the few clean teams but Au revoir, instead we will keep the likes of Lampre and still consider Radioshack and Astana. The UCI, clueless.

Yea, that is a real good point!! One I had not thought of...

Question...with regards to Boguyes Telecom...are they the most popular team in France? Just curious because when I watch a french race it seems like fans with BT flags are just as numerous as lion of flanders flags.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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They are huge in France. Arguably because of Little Tommy's "Year of Yellow" - you'd never know some other cowboy won it that year. However, they are known for a good youth system producing some of the top French cyclists in recent years, being very attack minded, if somewhat dissipated, and winning the French Championship and the GP Plouay annually, even when they don't. They also have some classy cyclists, like the aforementioned Little Tommy Voeckler and Pierrick Fédrigo; Rolland and Bonet are among the better young pro French riders. JR Bernadeau's personality also helps somewhat.

They are strongly linked into the Vendee youth system, and are theoretically the continuation of System U / Castorama, albeit with about a three year hiatus in participation at the top level, making them the oldest of the French teams, I think.

What is also remarkable about BBT gettin the drop is that they are the most anti-race radio team in it. Are they being punished for bullying weak defenceless UCI into making the unpopular change?

The UCI will not be popular in France tonight, unless JR wanted the drop in status.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Bluebeard said:
They are huge in France. Arguably because of Little Tommy's "Year of Yellow" - you'd never know some other cowboy won it that year. However, they are known for a good youth system producing some of the top French cyclists in recent years, being very attack minded, if somewhat dissipated, and winning the French Championship and the GP Plouay annually, even when they don't. They also have some classy cyclists, like the aforementioned Little Tommy Voeckler and Pierrick Fédrigo; Rolland and Bonet are among the better young pro French riders. JR Bernadeau's personality also helps somewhat.

They are strongly linked into the Vendee youth system, and are theoretically the continuation of System U / Castorama, albeit with about a three year hiatus in participation at the top level, making them the oldest of the French teams, I think.

What is also remarkable about BBT gettin the drop is that they are the most anti-race radio team in it. Are they being punished for bullying weak defenceless UCI into making the unpopular change?

The UCI will not be popular in France tonight, unless JR wanted the drop in status.

Thanks for the info...I too admire the team for their anti doping stance and the attacking style of riding.
 
According to lequipe they are not happy. http://www.lequipe.fr/Cyclisme/breves2009/20090929_174500_bouygues-et-cofidis-absents.html

The UCI said the loss of some riders from the mentioned teams was the reason????? Go figure that one. Along with there were no sponsorship guarantees beyond 2010. ProTour licences are for 4 years.


And yes Radioshack gets a mention. ie if they get a ProTour licence then the system sucks.

ASO have already given Cofidis and BBBOX a spot on the 2010 Tour de France.
 
riobonito92 said:
It looks like Astana OR The Shack. Otherwise The Shack licence would have been announced today.

No, Astana is not applying for a license, they already have one but the UCI might pull it if they fall too far below the requirements.

So the fate of the two teams don't depend on what happens to the other team.
 
Jun 24, 2009
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riobonito92 said:
It looks like Astana OR The Shack. Otherwise The Shack licence would have been announced today.

I hope it's Radio Shack that gets in. Just so the UCI can suck the millions of dollars for membership, out of the Shack, like the Vampires they are. Then, no Pro Tour license for Astana would free Contador(As McQuaid has stated) to find a REAL team, and get back to the business at hand.
BTW, Moncoutie was a glimmering Diamond in the rough for Cofidis at the Vuelta. But I'm sure they will still gain entry into many races throughout the year.
But more incredibly! What will become of Thomas Voekler??? Maybe Bruyneel can pull him over to the Shack(only joking, please don't cut my head off):p
 
Aug 4, 2009
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ingsve said:
No, Astana is not applying for a license, they already have one but the UCI might pull it if they fall too far below the requirements.

So the fate of the two teams don't depend on what happens to the other team.

Not necessarily: if it is a numbers game they are linked; taking the licence away from Astana creates a space for Radio Shack.
 
UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses, but are likely to give out fewer for the coming season. Cyclingnews reported earlier this week that three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, would be guaranteed entry into the ProTour events by merit of their rankings in the World Rankings.
Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis were the lowest-ranked ProTour squads in the UCI's world rankings this year at 19th and 20th, respectively, lower than the aforementioned Pro Continental teams.

Next year, three Pro Conti squads are guaranteed entry into Pro Tour races, based on their performance in the World Rankings (formerly known as the Pro Tour rankings).

So, in essence, you can compete in the Pro Tour and earn Pro Tour points even if you don't have a Pro Tour licence? :confused:
What a bargain!:rolleyes:
 
Aug 4, 2009
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ingsve said:
They are allowed to have 20 teams and already have refused two teams so there is a maximum of 18 teams in the PT next year so numbers are no longer an issue.

That depends on what they see as the ideal number of PT teams. I wouldn't be surprised if, over the next couple of years, the number of teams was reduced to 15 or 16. I think the plan is for a smaller number of higher profile PT teams and more wild cards given out to teams with an established relationship with a particular event (ie locality, past results). That gives more power to the organizers while retaining, and even strengthening, the ProTour concept.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses, but are likely to give out fewer for the coming season. Cyclingnews reported earlier this week that three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, would be guaranteed entry into the ProTour events by merit of their rankings in the World Rankings.
Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis were the lowest-ranked ProTour squads in the UCI's world rankings this year at 19th and 20th, respectively, lower than the aforementioned Pro Continental teams.

Next year, three Pro Conti squads are guaranteed entry into Pro Tour races, based on their performance in the World Rankings (formerly known as the Pro Tour rankings).

So, in essence, you can compete in the Pro Tour and earn Pro Tour points even if you don't have a Pro Tour licence? :confused:
What a bargain!:rolleyes:

That is a financial wind fall for those teams!! Has this happened before? I mean why have a pro tour license in the first place?
 
If the French teams were ejected because of their results, then this reinforces the idea that results are more important than any other factors which helps to encourage we know what...

Cofidis have been around since 97 and Boguyes since 01 in different guises so where is the loyalty and reward for longevity. Radioshack is purely a vehicle for Lance and will vanish again in a few seasons. We are going the way of football where teams simply buy their way to the top of the sport a la Chelsea/Man City.

Personally I dont think a new team should be able to walk into the ProTour, they should spend a season at Pro Continental level like Cervelo did this season to prove their credentials. Look at Katusha, mega bucks but underperformed and had doping issues as well as internal issues yet already guranteed a ProTour place next season

I think the ProTour is a dud, the only way it will work os if all the teams are sponsored by international corporations which is what the UCI are aiming for I guess. That will take a while and if there is constant doping problems, very unlikely. Teams with national sponsors like the French teams have no interest in races like the Giro so usually send B teams who do very little.
I dont think the French teams will suffer too much missing out on the ProTour but I just think the UCI are sending the wrong message.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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riobonito92 said:
And another thing: perhaps the logic is Bbox and Cofidis don't need ProTour status because they are pretty much guaranteed a TdF wild card.
I'd suspect that is a far greater point. BBox most certainly only shines at French events, and their love affair with Voelker (justified I'd say) whatever continental team he is on will get invites.

Cofidis is a bit more questionable with what Mancoutie has achieved this year, not to mention some of their other quality riders.

What perplexes me is granting Lampre a four year license. Gone are top riders Ballan and Bruseghin. Yeah, they have Cunego and signed Petacchi, but the former is showing himself to be an unpredictable single day racer, and AleJet looks to be past his prime, especially for flat finishes in the big races against the real sprinter teams (be nice to see him try the Boonen/Hushovd route).

And if I havent misremembered, isnt Fuji out? Meaning three open slots for the 18 team pro field. Could we see Sky, RadioShack, and BMC?
 
benpounder said:
And if I havent misremembered, isnt Fuji out? Meaning three open slots for the 18 team pro field. Could we see Sky, RadioShack, and BMC?

Fuji has a license so they are counted in the 17, but the team might disappear. They are looking for a new sponsor last I heard though.

Sky has already got their license as well and BMC has not applied.

ProTour:
AG2R La Mondiale
Astana (?)
Caisse d'Epargne
Columbia-HTC
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Francaise des Jeux
Fuji-Servetto (?)
Garmin-Slipstream
Katusha
Lampre-NGC
Liquigas
Milram
Quick Step
Rabobank
Saxo Bank
Silence-Lotto
Sky

Still to be decided: RadioShack (and then the questionmarks)
 
A

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erm.. cofidis, hardly a surprise, it had been well discussed in the run up , and several people myself included thought cofidis might lose their licence...

not exactly done much performance wise, will still get invites to the aso events, and all the major french events which is all really they are worried about, and likely they will get invites to the northern classics too. no skin of their nose really.. same for Bbox...

i had assumed though moncoutier signing meant that they had got a licence, unless he is also happy with the tour, french races, and not having to bother with the giro and vuelta
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ingsve said:
Fuji has a license so they are counted in the 17, but the team might disappear. They are looking for a new sponsor last I heard though.

Sky has already got their license as well and BMC has not applied.
our math agrees, I just took a different path. Last I read, Fuji management is on the verge of giving up. Did not know that Sky already was granted a license, but that, for me, was never in question.

I havent seen anything regarding BMC and a Pro license, but with the firepower they picked up, seems to be a shoo-in. Classics and minor Classics, any NorAm race, and most of the prestigeous European one week stage races. The only thing they are lacking is a legitimate GT GC contender, but then only half of the Pro Teams have that, and only because the real GC riders are targeting something else.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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There is still a numbers problem, though. If Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone are guaranteed entry into the main events, and Bbox & Cofidis are guaranteed entry to the French races - and there are as many as 18 PT teams [3+18+2 = 23], it may get difficult for BMC and some other deserving teams to get invites to (m)any races big European races. Along the same lines, Bbox and Cofidis may find it hard to line up outside of France.

(This assumes Radio Shack will get a PT licence and is why I think the UCI will try to get rid of Astana and/or Fuji before offering them one).
 
Jun 18, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
I know this probably belongs in the Clinic but isnt that a nice message to send to teams with a great record of anti-doping like Boguyes Telecom, UCI: you are probably one of the few clean teams but Au revoir, instead we will keep the likes of Lampre and still consider Radioshack and Astana. The UCI, clueless.

It does belong in the Clinic... but UCI's official stance is that there is no longer a doping problem in pro cycling. McQuaid says it himself, time and time again. Therefore, BBox/Cofidis are just not as good as the other teams. It does make sense if you believe this.. of course, not all of us believe the UCI's stance. ;)
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Cobber said:
It does belong in the Clinic... but UCI's official stance is that there is no longer a doping problem in pro cycling. McQuaid says it himself, time and time again. Therefore, BBox/Cofidis are just not as good as the other teams. It does make sense if you believe this.. of course, not all of us believe the UCI's stance. ;)

I actually don't think this belongs in the Clinic - we are not discussing doping here (practises or speculation) - we are discussing ethic's! ;)

I expected Cofidis to lose their Pro Tour Licence - they appear to be content riding the ASO events and major French events however I am very surprised to hear about BBox.

Also it should be remembered that having a Pro Tour licence does not guarantee automatic qualification for the Tour or any of the Historical Calender events - Fuji Serevetto were not invited to ride this years Tour - probably as a result of their problem with ethics.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I actually don't think this belongs in the Clinic - we are not discussing doping here (practises or speculation) - we are discussing ethic's! ;)

I expected Cofidis to lose their Pro Tour Licence - they appear to be content riding the ASO events and major French events however I am very surprised to hear about BBox.

Also it should be remembered that having a Pro Tour licence does not guarantee automatic qualification for the Tour or any of the Historical Calender events - Fuji Serevetto were not invited to ride this years Tour - probably as a result of their problem with ethics.

Good point. I guess my problem is that I think everything belongs in the clinic!
 

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