The Swiss IAM Cycling Team are set to win UCI World Tour status for 2015 after agreeing to step up from the Pro Continental level.
With the Cannondale team folding at the end of 2014, the WorldTour is left one squad short, with Astana’s place also under consideration following their recent failed drugs tests.
But according to Cyclingnews, IAM Cycling has improved its Pro Continental licence application for 2015 to make it eligible for WorldTour status, which will be decided in late November.
The Swiss squad made their Tour de France debut in 2014, after securing a wildcard from organisers ASO and shot to prominence last week when Matthias Brändle broke Jens Voigt’s hour record.
An IAM Cycling spokesman told Cyclingnews: “We have had talks about [the licence] in the last few weeks and it is the UCI who will decide the music.”
With only 23 riders on their current roster, IAM Cycling would have to recruit three more to make up the 26-man minimum required in the WorldTour.
And the demands of racing a full WorldTour schedule will likely require the team to increase their staff and support levels as well.
The UCI Licence Commission meet between November 19-21, where the WorldTour roster will be finalised.
It may have been harder and hotter than Matthias Brändle expected, but he still set a new Hour Record
IAM Cycling's Matthias Brändle set a new Hour Record, but his team's owner Michel Thétaz thinks that Bradley Wiggins will
Credit: Andy Jones
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.