Astana get ProTour green light, Lampre refused

17 teams pass UCI entry requirements

The Kazakh cycling team Astana, home of Spanish Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, have secured a place on next year's ProTour, official sources announced on Wednesday.

Astana are one of 17 teams to have passed the International Cycling Union's

(UCI) entry exam but Italian team Lampre, whose leader is Damiano Cunego, failed to meet the necessary requirements.

The assessment procedure, which is undertaken by an independent body, judges whether or not the sport's elite teams satisfy a number of administrative and financial criteria.

In recent months, Astana was one of five teams - along with Caisse d'Epargne, Euskatel, Saxo Bank and Sky - to have failed their first assessment.

All have since fulfilled their obligations, after UCI asked Astana to secure an additional bank guarantee in light of the financial problems that plagued them in 2009.

UCI are reported to be waiting for proof of Astana's improved financial situation, but say that it is "not connected" to the registration procedure and that they are "confident" it will "soon be provided".

Astana's successful application for a ProTour berth secures Contador's future at the Kazakh team.

The two-time Tour de France champion revealed last week that he had signed a preliminary agreement with Astana dependent on conditions that included their successful registration with the ProTour.

Regarding Lampre, UCI revealed that, after their application was refused by the UCI ProTour Council, their case would now be considered by the licensing board.

Here are the 17 ProTour teams and the duration of their licences:

  1. Astana (KAZ) 2010
  2. Caisse d'Epargne (ESP) 2010
  3. Euskaltel (ESP) 2010
  4. Footon-Servetto (ESP) 2010
  5. Francaise des Jeux (FRA) 2010
  6. Liquigas (ITA) 2010
  7. Columbia (USA) 2010
  8. Milram (GER) 2010
  9. Omega Pharma-Lotto (BEL) 2011
  10. Quick Step (BEL) 2011
  11. Saxo Bank (DEN) 2011
  12. Katusha (RUS) 2011
  13. AG2R (FRA) 2012
  14. Garmin (USA) 2012
  15. Rabobank (NED) 2012
  16. RadioShack (USA) 2013
  17. Sky (GBR) 2013

© AFP 2009

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