Bahrain-McLaren will become Bahrain Victorious next season, with McLaren pulling out of sponsoring Rod Ellingworth’s squad after just one year.
McLaren’s withdrawal came as the British company wished to focus on motorsport after the uncertainty caused this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes as the UCI release the names of the 46 professional teams registering for the 2021 season.
18 men’s teams and eight women’s teams are renewing their licenses with both pelotons set to receive one new member for the next season.
Circus – Wanty Gobert will step up to the top tier of professional cycling after buying CCC’s licence, a move currently being reviewed by the UCI, as Jim Ochowicz struggled to find new backers for his cycling team following the Polish shoe giant pulling out amid financial difficulties.
SD Worx, previously known as Boels-Dolmans, will also step up to women’s WorldTour level, after signing a four-year sponsorship deal with the Belgian payroll company.
NTT Pro Cycling are not on the list of WorldTour teams for 2021, but team principal Doug Ryder revealed yesterday the team are “very close to being on the road next year”, saying they have hopefully secured fresh financial backing at the 11th hour.
Danish outfit Riwal Securitas are also missing from the list of ProTeams, the team asking the UCI for an extension to submitting their application to continue racing as they also try and survive financial issues.
The UCI said in a statement that teams not on the list “still have the possibility to finalise their applications before the end of the registration procedure”, which should be some time in December.
Elsewhere, AG2r La Mondiale become Ag2r Citroën, receiving an injection of cash which has allowed the team to start building a Classics powerhouse, bringing in Greg Van Avermaet and Bob Jungels for next year.
The start of the 2021 WorldTour season has already been pushed back, with the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race cancelled due to coronavirus complications, top tier racing should get underway in February at the UAE Tour.