Armstrong's Radioshack get ProTour licence
PARIS (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team has been granted a ProTour licence that guarantees the American outfit entry into next year's Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Friday.
"Following the examination of a request received, the Licence Commission has awarded a four-year UCI ProTour licence for the period 2010 to 2013 to Team RadioShack (USA)," the UCI said in a statement.
Seven times champion Armstrong, announced the creation of RadioShack during July's Tour de France, which he finished in third place overall.
The 38-year-old returned to the sport in January, riding for the Astana team, after 3-1/2 years in retirement.
For next season, Armstrong, will be able to rely on experienced riders, notably American Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Kloeden of Germany.
Leipheimer, 35, has finished in the top 10 on the Tour four times -- including third in 2007. Kloeden, 34, finished second overall in the Tour de France in 2004 and 2006.
Belgian manager Johan Bruyneel, the man behind Armstrong's seven Tour titles, is set to leave Astana to join RadioShack when the American starts his 2010 season at the Tour Down Under in January.
RadioShack, however, will also bank on promising young riders.
"Sam Bewley (age 22) and Bjorn Selander (21) make the jump from the Trek-Livestrong U23 team, while Daryl Impey (24), Ivan Rovny (22) and Ben Hermans (23) all come from major European teams," RadioShack said on their website on Friday (www.teamradioshack.us).
"Janez Brajkovic who comes with Armstrong from Astana, will be only 26 in December," the team said.
(Editing by Alison Wildey)
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