|Bjarne Riis can keep smiling as his|
team finally got a World Tour license.
Today The International Cycling Union (UCI) finally revealed all the 18 World Tour teams for 2013 and in the end Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo-Tinkoff managed to secure their status in the cycling elite. Instead Katusha - who ended 2nd on the UCI World Tour team ranking - was left out.
Earlier this week Roman Kreuziger explained that for him it wouldn’t really matter if Team Saxo-Tinkoff got the World Tour license or not as he was sure they would be given wild cards to all the big races anyway. “Everybody wants to have Alberto [Contador] in the their race so I’m not worried”, Kreuziger said and I’m sure the situation will be the same for Katusha.
Having Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez - winner of the individual UCI World Tour ranking for the second year in a row - plus strong riders like Dani Moreno, Denis Menchov, Alexander Kristoff etc. on the team surely counts when the race organizers are sending out invitations. I for one will be very surprised not to see Purito and Katusha in the big races in 2013…
These are the 18 World Tour teams for next year:
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Lampre – Merida
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
AG2R La Mondiale
Team Saxo – Tinkoff