November 14, 2004
ProTour excludes Hamilton's Phonak squad
Looks like Phonak is a little too hot to handle for the ProTour, as Tyler Hamilton's squad was the only team that had been provisionally approved not to move on to a "positive initial evaluation."
Eventually, the field will be whittled down to 15 teams, who are expected to ride a wide variety of races to earn points for overall ProTour individual and team leadership.
The three-man commission, comprising Judge Pierre Zappelli, Mr. Hans Höhener and Mr. André Hurter approved the following 18 teams.
Esperanza bvba / Quick Step (Belgium)
Omega Pharma / Davitamon-Lotto (Belgium)
Riis Cycling A/S / CSC (Denmark)
Abarca Sports S.L / Illes Balears-Banesto (2-year license) (Spain)
Active Bay S.L. / Liberty Seguros (Spain)
Fundacion Ciclista Euskadi / Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spain)
GM Bikes SA / Saunier Duval-Prodir (Spain)
Cofidis Competition Eusrl / Cofidis (France)
SA Vendée Cyclisme / Bouygues Telecom (France)
Société de Gestion de L'Echappée / FDJeux.com (France)
Vélo Club de Paris / Crédit Agricole (France)
Biciclub Azzurro srl / Lampre-Caffitta (3-year license) (Italy)
Liquigas Sport Spa / Liquigas (Italy)
Silver Team Srl / Fassa Bortolo (3-ywar license) (Italy)
Professional Cycling Promotion B.V. / Rabobank (Netherlands)
H-S-M GmbH / Gerolsteiner (Germany)
Walter Godefroot GmbH / T-Mobile (2-year license)(Germany)
Tailwind Sports Corporation / Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA).
Some other ProTour changes: the Tour of Germany will now be in mid-August, and the Vuelta will start August 27th. World's will move up to September 25.
Organizers of the Giro and the Tour de France are still in negotiations with the UCI over including the grand tours on the ProTour schedule.
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