US Pro Continental Teams: BMC in, Rock Racing out

Posted on 02. Dec, 2008 by in news

Today, the UCI announced the list of approved Professional Continental Teams for the 2009 season, and as earlier reported the BMC team was the only approved US team.

Rock Racing also submitted its candidature but was refused due to one or more non-conformities, and has until Friday December 5, to appeal  the decision to the Management Committee of the UCI.

As pointed out by a commenter, during an interview published on November 21 with Bicycling Magazine , Rock Racing owner Michael Ball stated that the team decided to stay at the Continental level and not pursue a Pro Continental license:

“The intent was to get a Pro Continental license, but as we got closer to it and learned what it all was, the reality is that we weren’t going to get a wildcard invite to the Tours anyway. Especially with Lance coming back and racing the Giro, that’s going to be crazy. Even if we did get wild card status, with my affiliations in Europe and relationships I’ve built in Italy, I knew we weren’t going to get the pick. There’s no room at the Giro. So there wasn’t really a point.” said Michael Ball

So it seems that in the time between submitting the paperwork to USACycling and the USA to apply for a Pro Continental license and the UCI putting out an press release on the status of the teams, Rock Racing changed its mind for the 2009 season. So why bother sending in the application in the first place? Or did the UCI inform Ball prior to the interview that the team application was refused?

In the interview, Ball also states the UCI level will be looked at again for the 2010 season.

8 Responses to “US Pro Continental Teams: BMC in, Rock Racing out”

  1. Anonymous

    02. Dec, 2008

    Rock didn’t get refused. It withdrew its application, according to an interview Ball did.

  2. Anonymous

    02. Dec, 2008

    That’s funny. Ball does an interview and you believe that over a UCI statement.

  3. Lyne

    02. Dec, 2008

    all we know is that RR submitted an application that was refused due to irregularities – which could be anything including not paying the fee. Which is what would happen if RR decided not to go for the Pro Conti status.

    But why did RR put in the application if they didn’t want to pursue it?

  4. InTheKnow

    02. Dec, 2008

    You had to submit your application to the UCI back in August. A lot has happened between then and now (most notably, a certain rider came out of retirement).

    If the team thought a license (which costs as much as most of us make in a year) wasn’t going to guarantee them a spot in the big races – and it would not have since everyone wants to race against LA – then it was probably a good business decision to not pursue it.

  5. gavia

    02. Dec, 2008

    Makes perfect sense.

    The field looks very crowded for the Giro d’Italia, in particular, which seemed to be the main race that Ball had in mind when he was talking about going ProConti. No point in spending the money for nothing, a lesson Gianetti may well learn the hard way this season.

  6. gavia

    02. Dec, 2008

    By the way, did we ever learn how the age requirement issues will be resolved at Rock? I’m still confused about that one.

  7. Lyne

    02. Dec, 2008

    nope, no more info on the age and number of riders for RR as a continental team

  8. Tom S.

    02. Dec, 2008

    A Pro Continental license doesn;t look that horribly expensive – 12,000 Euros according to the website – here's the link. Maybe there is more to granting the license, i.e. bank deposits or bonds, etc. but this doesn;t appear daunting.

    ProTour license is 50,000 Euros but with multimillion Euro budgets – is that really an issue?