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Cycling News Roundup Special Edition 9 January 2004
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 1/9/2004
Cycling News Roundup Special Edition 9 January 2004

Kelme and Domina Not Division One Teams - News and Reaction

The Spanish Kelme team, which has a 24 year history as a top team in the professional peloton, today was not included as a Division One team. See the earlier news item here. The Italian Domina Vacanze team, among whose ranks is former World Champion Mario Cipollini, also did not receive Division I status.


The prevailing feeling about Kelme is dismay, since the team has been one of the mainstays in the first division of the pro peloton for the past quarter century.

Enrico Carpani, UCI spokesman, said of the Kelme team that the UCI "did not receive the required banking endorsement. In addition, the financial situation of the Kelme is not well. We have not received a banking endorsement and the Kelme is excluded from the maximum category ".

Team leader and silver medalist at the 2003 Worlds Alejandro Valverde said "I don't want to say anything until I can speak to those reponsible for the team. But if it's confirmed, it will be a very large blow to my companions and me. I haven't thought about the topic of the disappearance of the Kelme in the case it were to drop in category, but clearly, it is not the same thing to ride in a team that cannot dispute the "grandes" [grand tours]."

Manuel Perez, president of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), said that the exclusion of Kelme from the first division is "a great pain to him," also felt "by all the riders, but specially by Vicente Belda, who has put his life in the club".

The president said, "I have known [Belda] for many years and I know how he has given. Now it is necessary to trust that the team does not throw the towel, but it is a blow for Spanish cycling, because it is the fightingest team of the world, in addition to being most veteran in the peloton, with 25 years of activity".

The Spanish national selector, Paco Antequera, characterized the decision as a "heavy sporting blow,"  saying that, "It is a heavy sporting blow because Kelme is the honored team in the peloton, it has been always in first division, in spite of having a more reduced budget, and that has its merit but, truthfully, this was seen coming."

Domina Vacanze

Little is known at this point about the rejection of Domina as a Division 1 team. Alain Rumpf, manager of the Professional Cycling Council (CPC), said only that the Domina file comprises "many dark areas."

This evening Ernesto Preatoni, patron of Domina Vacanze, issued a statement stating that before taking any action, he will meet with his own executives to discern why his team was excluded.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Domina team, were it to register as a Division 2 team for the season, could still be invited to take part in Milan Sanremo and the Giro d'Italia, though an invitation to the Tour de France would not be likely - the team was not invited last year. (Marca, AS, Todociclismo, Gazzetta, L'Equipe)

An Explanation of the 2004 Division One Selections

If some of you do not have a full grasp of how Division One pro cycling teams are chosen each season, here is the pertinent information describing the process.

First is an excellent explanation from Wim van Rossum's Cycling4All website, regarding how the Division One Teams for 2004 were picked (given the exclusions of Domina and Kelme for not satisfying UCI registration regulations). Following are the descriptions of the various UCI rules regarding registration of a Division 1 team.

The 10 "top-clubs:"

Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
Quick Step-Davitamon (Bel)
T-Mobile (Ger) (was Telekom in 2003 )
Saeco (Ita)
Illes Balears-Banesto (Spa) (was in 2003 )
Gerolsteiner (Ger)
Cofidis (Fra)
Rabobank (Ned)
Liberty Seguros (Spa) (was ONCE-Eroski in 2003)
US Postal - Berry Floor (Usa)

The 8 teams with the right to participate in World Cup races:

CSC (Den)
Alessio-Bianchi (Ita)
Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa) (Fra)
AG2R Prévoyance (Fra)
Phonak Hearing Systems (Swi)
Lampre (Ita)
Brioches La Boulangère (Fra)

The remaining 7 Division 1 teams:

Vini Caldirola (Ita)
Lotto-Domo (Bel)
Maia - Milaneza (Por)
Crédit Agricole (Fra)
RAGT Semences-Rover MG (was Jean Delatour 2003)
Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (Bel)
Palmans-Collstrop (Bel)

The 3 highest UCI ranked Division 2 teams at the end of the season 2003:

Bankgiroloterij C.T. (Ned)
De Nardi-Colpack (Ita)
Relax-Bodysol (Spa)

The first 2 trade teams in the UCI classification of 20 December 2003:

Chocolade Jacques - Wincor Nixdorf (Bel)
Saunier Duval (Spa)

UCI Rules for Division One Classification

Referring to Wim's information just above, here are the UCI rules for choosing the 30 Division 1 teams. Being a Division One team means that for the highest classed race in the season (grand tours, Hors Category and Category 1 races), being a Division 1 team is generally one of the requirements for an automatic invitation, or to be considered for an invitation to one of these races.

These are the UCI criteria for selection of the 30 Division 1 Teams from the UCI regulations. The full regulations covering the sport of cycling can be found in the Rules section of the UCI website.

a) The 26 highest ranked TT/I (Division 1) teams in the UCI classification established at the end of the last World Cup event of the preceding year, leaving aside trade teams which are not registered with the UCI on 20 December or who refuse Division 1 status. The ten highest-ranked trade teams shall be known as ‘top clubs’.

b) The two highest ranked TT/IIs [Trade Team II or Division Two teams] in the classification established at the end of the last World Cup event of the preceding year, leaving aside the trade teams which are not registered with the UCI on 20 December or who refuse TT/I status. TT/IIs in the same classification will be granted TT/I status insofar as the total of 26 TT/Is is not reached under the provisions of a) above.

c) The first two trade teams in the classification of 20 December of the preceding year on the basis of the total points scored by the highest ranked riders of the year in question registered for the year of registration in the individual classification, leaving aside the trade teams covered above.

Division 1 Registration Specifics

If you have followed this year's Division 1 team registration news, you can see that the UCI bent its own rules by waiting until today, 9 January, to make the final decision on the 30 Division 1 teams. Ordinarily the final decision is announced on or right after the 20th of December.

Previous UCI press releases regarding this year's Division One teams:
22 December 2003: Preliminary Announcement
24 December 2003: Announcement accepting Fassa Bortola
9 January 2004: Final Selections for Division One

Here are the general requirements and cut-off dates for registering as a Division 1 Team:

Teams applying for Trade Team status must pay a registration fee and present the UCI with various team information. The various information is required by specified dates. The information includes a detailed team roster, the names of the prinicipal partners, paying agent, manager, assistant manager, doctor, physical address, etc.

The team must also present bank guarantee information by a bank on an UCI accepted list. The purpose of the guarantee is to defray debts incurred by the sponsors and the paying agent to other members of the trade team holding a licence (riders, coaches, mechanics, etc.) for the operation of the trade team for the year of registration and to cover the payment of any outstanding costs, indemnities, fines, penalties and charges imposed by or under the UCI regulations. The total of the guarantee must be 25% of the gross salaries of the team and management for the year.

The registration process and requirement cut off dates for Divison 1 teams, set out by the UCI, are as follows - the dates are for the year preceding registration, so these are the 2003 dates for 2004 team registration.

1 Sept: (informational data such as rider contracts, draft of bank guarantee - weekly penalty of 2000 CHF until submitted, and payment of the UCI registration fee - 1000 CHF daily penalty until paid)

15 Oct: (first demand bank guarantee, rider list, principals, paying agent, etc. - daily penalty of 1000 CHF til submitted). Further, the examination of a team's application will not be started until all this info is received and the team will not be allowed to claim TTI status until then.

15 Nov: (all information required for the UCI audit - 1000 CHF daily penalty til submitted; team may not claim TTI status and the audit will not be performed until all info is received.

20 Dec: "Only trade teams whose documents are found to be in order by the UCI by 20 December before the year of registration can be registered as TT/I."

15 January: "Trade teams whose documents are found to be in order by the UCI by 15 January of the year of registration may be registered as TT/IIs."

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