The International Cycling Union (UCI) refused a wildcard status to the Estonian Mitsubishi - Jartazi team on February
11. The UCI had questions about Vandenbroucke's doping ban in 2002 and the fact that Vandenbroucke rode a few Cyclo Tourist races
in 2006 under the name Franco Del Ponte with a picture of Tom Boonen on his license. Strange enough this was not a problem
for Vandenrboucke's former team Aqua Sapone to receive a wildcard status in 2007.
Today the UCI announced that Mitsubishi - Jartazi is granted a wildcard status. The team appealed against the decision
of February 11. In a press release the UCI said that: "the Licence Commission has granted « wild card » label to the Estonian
UCI continental professional team Mitsubishi-Jartazi after receiving further information from this team."
The UCI continued by saying: "Teams with a wild card are entitled to be invited to compete in races on the UCI ProTour
calendar. Wild cards are given only to teams that fulfil strict quality criteria on a number of levels: technical (history
of strong performances by team and riders), legal (observance of the rules), administrative (rigorous management and transparency)
and ethical (especially anti-doping management and procedures)."
The decision paves the way for Vandenbroucke to start at this years Tour of Flanders. The race organisation told Belgian
media last week that Vandenbroucke and his team would be welcome at the Pro - Tour race if Mitsubishi - Jartazi would be granted
a wildcard status.