Well, it seems that a ProTour license is now harder to get than a liquor license in Manhattan.
Unibet, Astana, and Barloworld are all competing for the license left open by Phonak. All other licenses have been confirmed. It seems that both Unibet and Astana have very strong cases as they are filled with ProTour caliber talent.
I am currently unclear on one issue. Astana is competing for the Phonak license. Manolo Saiz holds a license from the Liberty Seguros days. Who will be racing under that license? Will there be one less squad? I can’t see Manolo in the Director’s car fielding a team given all the controversy surrounding his name. Could that mean that another license is up for grabs for two of the three teams that are on the outside looking in?