There are no major changes to the list of 18 teams from 2017, with only alterations in team names to reflect a few new title sponsors.
>> Struggling to get to the shops try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Cannondale-Drapac will become EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale and – although not yet listed as such by the UCI – FDJ will become Groupama-FDJ and Orica-Scott will become Mitchelton-Scott.
The 18 squads are termed ‘WorldTeams’ by the UCI and have automatic entry into races selected for the WorldTour calendar, which includes all three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – and Classics such as Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo.
In order to be awarded a WorldTeam licence, the squads must meet a set of criteria that comprises ethical, financial, administrative and organisational.
Once again, the USA is the country that has the most number of teams registered, with three: Trek-Segafredo, BMC Racing Team and EF Education First-Drapac. Belgium, France and Germany each has two teams.
The 37-event 2018 WorldTour calendar kicks off with the Tour Down Under in Australia over January 16-21.
Riders and teams taking part in the WorldTour accrue points depending on finishing positions in races to form a rolling WorldTour ranking. Belgian Greg Van Avermaet of BMC Racing topped the final ranking in 2017.
2018 UCI WorldTour teams
Ag2r-La Mondiale – France
Astana Pro Team – Kazhakstan
Bahrain-Merida – Bahrain
BMC Racing Team – USA
Bora-Hansgrohe – Germany
Dimension Data – RSA
EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale – USA
Groupama-FDJ – France
Lotto-Soudal – Belgium
Mitchelton-Scott – Australia
Movistar Team – Spain
Quick-Step Floors – Belgium
Team Katusha-Alpecin – Switzerland
Team LottoNL-Jumbo – Netherlands
Team Sky – Great Britain
Team Sunweb – Germany
Trek-Segafredo – USA
UAE-Team Emirates – UAE