Team RadioShack get ProTour license

Four-year deal granted by UCI

The International Cycling Union (UCI) awarded Lance Armstrong's new RadioShack team a four-year ProTour license on Friday.

The license runs from 2010 until 2013 and guarantees entry to all ProTour events.

Armstrong announced during the Tour de France that the American company RadioShack would sponsor his new team for the next two years.

He secured long-time team manager Johan Bruyneel to make the switch with him from Astana. Many of his Astana team-mates are following him to the new squad.

RadioShack will start racing at the Tour Down Under in Australia in January. Other possible early races, according to Armstrong, include the Tour of Murcia, Paris-Nice, La Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Confirmed members of the new RadioShack team are Levi Leipheimer, Sergio Paulinho, Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Bjorn Selander, Sam Bewley, Markel Irizar, Jose Luis Rubiera, Daryl Impey, Ivan Rovny, Ben Hermans, Gert Steegmans, Yaroslav Popovych and Grégory Rast.

In recent weeks, another new team, Team Sky, were awarded a four-year ProTour license while French outfit AG2R La Mondiale had their license extended until the end of the 2012 season.

Italian squad Lampre were awarded a four-year license, while German team Milram were given ProTour status for the 2010 season. Licenses have been denied to the French teams Cofidis, Le Crédit En Ligne and Bouygues Télécom.

UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses. In addition to the ProTour teams, three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, will be guaranteed entry into the 2010 ProTour events by merit of their places in the world rankings.

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