Radio Shack awarded licence

2009-10-17 15:46

Paris - Radio Shack, the new team which will be spearheaded by cycling icon Lance Armstrong as of 2010, is guaranteed entry to all major races after being granted a Pro Tour licence.

"Following examination of the request received, the License Commission has awarded a four-year UCI ProTour license for the period 2010 to 2013 to Team Radio Shack (USA)," the UCI, cycling's world ruling body, said in a statement released on Friday.

Armstrong, who famously beat cancer in 1998 and went on to win the Tour de France seven years consecutively from 1999-2005, made his comeback from retirement in January 2009.

The 38-year-old American competed at the Tour de France where he impressed by finishing third, albeit nearly six minutes adrift of champion Alberto Contador of Spain.

Armstrong and Contador's duel at next year's race, which was unveiled on Wednesday, could be one of the sporting highlights of the year.

Radio Shack are now the third team among the elite Pro Tour ranks of cycling after Team Columbia and Garmin.

Teams which do not have Pro Tour status are not guaranteed entry to all the top races, having to rely on wildcard invitations for the major three-week Tours or the goodwill of organisers in the smaller races.