The Astana cycling team will have to wait another week to see whether it is included in the 2015 WorldTour. The Kazakh squad was left off the list of confirmed WorldTour teams issued by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Thursday evening. French outfit Europcar also awaits a decision on its licence.
Media reports earlier in the day suggested that Astana would not be awarded a licence after recent doping cases. Instead, the UCI Licence Commission’s decision on the team has been delayed.
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According to the UCI, a decision on both Astana and Europcar’s WorldTour licences will be made by Wednesday, December 10. No reason for further review was given by the UCI. In order to be awarded a WorldTour licence, teams must meet the demands of the UCI Licence Commission’s four criteria: sporting, financial, administrative and ethical.
Meanwhile, Swiss team IAM Cycling has been awarded a licence to race in the 2015 WorldTour, stepping up from Professional Continental status.
The UCI issued a list of 16 confirmed WorldTour squads – which they now term WorldTeams. If both Astana and Europcar are awarded a licence, it brings the number of WorldTour teams up to the maximum of 18.
The list of confirmed 2015 WorldTour teams is as follows:
Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
IAM Cycling (Swi)
Movistar Team (Spa)
Team Cannondale-Garmin (USA)
Team Giant-Alpecin (Ger)
Team Katusha (Rus)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (Ned)
Team Sky (GBr)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
Pending further review:
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)