The 18 teams riding in professional cycling's top flight has been confirmed by the sport's governing body

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With the news that African squad Dimension Data has been awarded WorldTour status for 2016, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has confirmed the list of 18 teams taking part in its top-flight race calendar.

WorldTour teams gain automatic entry in cycling’s biggest and most prestigious events, including the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix.

>>> UCI WorldTour calendar 2016

Cannondale, Etixx-QuickStep, Katusha, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Soudal and Tinkoff have all been granted continuations of their WorldTour licences.

Aside from the addition of Dimension Data, that means that there are no major changes to the WorldTour teams for 2016 bar a few slight name changes as a result of alterations in sponsorship. Cannondale-Garmin are now simply Cannondale and Tinkoff-Saxo becomes just Tinkoff.

The United States of America is the home for the most number of teams, with three: BMC, Cannondale and Trek. France and Belgium both have two squads apiece.

>>> Team Dimension Data given WorldTour status for 2016

2016 UCI WorldTour teams

Ag2r La Mondiale (France)
Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Dimension Data (RSA)
Etixx-QuickStep (Belgium)
FDJ (France)
IAM Cycling (Switzerland)
Lampre-Merida (Italy)
Lotto-Soudal (Belgium)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Orica-GreenEdge (Australia)
Team Giant-Alpecin (Germany)
Team Katusha (Russia)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
Team Sky (Great Britain)
Tinkoff (Russia)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)