2011 will witness the birth of no less than 5 new Professional - Continental teams in the UCI second division, as CyclingFever.com discovered. Besides the already known promotion of American squad United Healthcare to the Pro-Conti class, four other teams are now also sure.
Team Type 1, the team that proves that diabetics and sports do mix well, is the second American based team to receive a UCI Pro-Continental status. Quite recently, Team Type 1 signed additions Rubens Bertogliati from Switzerland and the virtually unknown Dutchman Olaf Kerkhof to the team.
Unexpected newcomers to the second division are the Spanish Caja Rural team and the French based Bretagne - Schuller team. Caja Rural will have to rely on the experience of Constantino Zaballa and Julian Sanchez. Neo-pro's Ryabkin and De La Cruz will have a chance to explore their abilities in 2011.
Bretagne - Schuller have secured Eric Berthou and Renaud Dion during the winter period, while Florent Mallegol and Warren Barguil get a chance at this level as their neo's.
The last team to be promoted is the German formation of Team Netapp. This team has set itself a clear goal to promote to the first division - or WorldTour - so this is an important leap towards that goal for the Germans. Road captain Steven Cozza will start his foreign career here and he will be working with the likes of Robert Retschke, Jesus Del Nero and Eric Baumann, of whom the latter remains with the successful German team.
The other known teams that are sure of a place in the 2011 UCI Professional - Continental ranks are:
Androni Giocattoli (ITA)
Colnago - CSF Inox (IRL)
Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli (ITA)
Geox - TMC (ESP)
Saur - Sojasun (FRA)
Skil - Shimano (NED)
Team Europcar (FRA)
Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator (BEL)
The UCI will unveil all the Pro-Conti teams on December 20th.
Source: Own source