Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Euskaltel secure four-year licence

Euskaltel Euskadi were today awarded a four-year UCI WorldTour licence by the sport's governing body.

The team got their licence confirmed earlier on Monday, as the UCI revealed the make-up of the 2013 WorldTour. While it was no surprise to see Igor González de Galdeano's outfit handed a place at cycling's top table as they had met the UCI's sporting criteria, seeing Katusha denied a place was definitely unexpected. While no reason has been offered by either the UCI or Katusha as to why they've been demoted to Professional Continental status, it's believed the governing body has issues with the ethical side of things over at the Russian powerhouse.

There appears to be no such issues with Euskaltel though, who got the additional bonus of being guaranteed a four-year stay in the sport's elite division. Speaking afterwards, team head Galdeano expressed his contentment.

"We're very satisfied, as we'll know have a Basque team at the elite level in international cycling", he said through a press release. "Being handed this licence gives us peace of mind to keep working with enthusiasm for the future. This goes to show we've done well. There's much work to be done in the future, but we're on the right track.

"Together we've ensured that this project keeps going. We've worked hard, but there's still a lot to do. We can't rest on our laurels, that's for sure. Being awarded the licence is a happy starting point for the long road ahead. We'll give it our all every year to stay at the top level. The only thing that's certain is that we have to work hard and professionally. We'll put all our effort, knowledge and commitment into keeping this project going, ensuring that a Basque team stays among the best in the world for many years, and that the supporters can be proud of it", he concluded.

What's interesting from an Euskaltel point of view with Saxo Bank being handed a licence and Katusha denied one, is that it appears signing non-Basques might have been completely unnecessary. As Riis' team were given a licence despite being well short points-wise, there's no reason to believe Euskaltel wouldn't have received one even if they hadn't signed non-Basques with points to their names. With the foreseeable future in the WorldTour secured, there should be no stopping Galdeano and co. reverting to an all-Basque outfit for 2014 and beyond if the desire is there.


Ryan said...

awesome to hear Euskaltel is still on top but the notion of hiring non Basques as unnecessary seems flawed. These riders should bring skills to the table that will make the team more competitive. When it comes to sprinting and time trials, the team has room to work with. We may see a more complete team this year.

Stephen said...

Right then, lets have Amets back for 2014!

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