The UCI announced their initial list of eight teams that have been approved for 2012 WorldTour participation in a press release earlier today. The teams approved for entry were Astana, BMC, Garmin-Cervelo, Lampre-ISD, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar, Rabobank, and Sky.
One glaring omission, however, was the new Lay_0_pahrd incarnation, RadioShack-Nissan (Trek). The statement from the UCI via press release confirmed that RadioShack-Nissan would have to appear before the commission as they have had their WorldTour status rejected for what was classified by one anonymous UCI insider as “sporting irregularities.”
UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani refused to comment, and had in fact turned his phone off. Via email, Carpani stated that the press release “spoke for itself” and that the “licence commission will determine the final ten teams.”
Patrick M. McQuaid, UCI president also refused to comment on the reasons behind the rejection.
“Look, this isn’t about the fact that Johan Bruyneel tried to start a breakaway league with Lagardere. Nor is it about the fact that he treats our UCI commissaires like shite on his shoe. Nor is it the fact that he didn’t properly inform his riders under contract what was happening with the apparent merger. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he is under a cloud of suspicion in relation to the Armstrong investigation and he himself could be charged with something. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that he’s pissed me off at almost every turn this year,” relayed McQuaid.
When pressed on the real reasons behind the license commission review, McQuaid remained tight-lipped.
“I again refuse to speculate or comment on any issues we have with Johan Bruyneel or anyone else in the organization,” concluded McQuaid.
Another glaring omission was the Francaise Des Jeux team, who also must plead their case to the license commission, a fact not lost upon a vindicated Jonathan Vaughters, who had potential sponsor Big Mat pull out at the eleventh hour in favour of FDJ.
“Stick that in your Big Mat and smoke it, Madiot,” laughed Vaughters when reached for comment.
The decision for the remainder of the 2012 WorldTour participants is to be decided between now and November 20th, 2011. Geox-TMC, FDJ, Europcar, AG2R-La Mondiale and Euskaltel-Euskadi will be vying for the remaining spots, which could have bigger implications for one additional team if Radioshack-Nissan is relegated to the Pro-Continental division for continuing their relationship with Johan Bruyneel.