UCI to Rock Racing: No license for you. The UCI has today announced the list of teams who have received a Pro Continental license for the coming season. This announcement completes a process begun back in December, when the UCI announced the teams who had made the first cut. Three teams in particular missed out: Rock Racing, Xacobeo-Galicia, and Androni-Giacattoli. All three appealed, and today's announcement confirmed the licenses of Xacobeo-Galicia and Androni-Giacattoli, while denying Rock Racing.
The U.S.-based team, funded by jeans company Rock & Republic, tried and failed last season to acquire a license at the Pro Continental level, which would open the possibility of the team riding some of the higher level races, including the grand tours. The team has several prominent Spanish rides on its roster, including Francisco Mancebo and Oscar Sevilla, and likely hoped they would open the way toward an invite to the Vuelta a España. This year, the UCI passed over the team in the first round of decisions, but Rock remained confident that they would receive a license before the season began.
That confidence was on display last week when the team confirmed that it had signed an agreement with two-time Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni. But that agreement depended on the team receiving its professional license. No license, no Simoni. Rumor had also suggested that Floyd Landis might sign with the team, if it received the much-desired license. It seems likely that rumor, which may not have had much grounds in reality to begin with, will now go the way of the downtube shifter.
In the meantime, it was good news all around at Gianni Savio's Androni-Giocattoli team. Now, with less name! The Venezuelan-registered team had appealed the UCI's previous rejection of their license request. Today, the UCI announced that it would in fact grant the team a Professional license for the coming season. Androni-Giocattoli has also applied for wild card status, which makes the team eligible for invitation to the grand tours.
Today's news proved similarly happy for Xacobeo-Galicia, who also received a Professional license. Like Androni Giocattoli (just practicing), Xacobeo-Galicia has also applied for wild card status. The team rode the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España last season.
The case of Lampre-Vini Farnese remains unresolved.
Photo Copyright, Christopher See. Used with permission.