The UCI has confirmed the teams that will be granted WorldTour and Women's WorldTour licences for the 2020 season.
This is the first time the UCI has awarded licences for the women's peloton, previously only classing events as the WorldTour. Seven teams out a maximum of eight have been awarded licences for 2020 to 2023, and will be obliged to feature in all the 22 races on the WorldTour calendar, which starts with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in February and ends with the Tour of Guangxi in October.
The seven teams so far are: Ale BTC Ljubljana (Italy), Canyon-SRAM (Germany), CCC-Liv (Poland), FDJ Nouvelle - Aquitaine Futuroscope (France) Movistar Team Women (Spain), Team Sunweb (Germany), Trek-Segafredo (USA).
Australian squad Mitchelton-Scott also applied for a top tier licence, though their application is still pending with UCI Licence Commission.
Teams hoping to make it into the Women's WorldTour had to comply with stringent criteria in the UCI reforms, including minimum salaries and maternity leave. The teams also had to guarantee four years of sponsorship, making it somewhat restrictive for many women's teams, most of whom will now race as part of the second tier Continental level.
The aim for cycling's governing body is to eventually expand the Women's WorldTour to 15 teams and bring in a minimum salary level with men's Professional Continental teams, which is currently €30,855.
In the men's WorldTour, the 18 of the 19 teams have been confirmed with only French Cofidis an new addition to the 2020 teams. Mitchelton-Scott's licence is still pending with the UCI Licence Commission.
"Approval of our WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour licenses is still ‘under review’ due to a slight delay in one of the documents required by the UCI," Mitchelton-Scott said in a statement. "This paperwork has since been provided and all criteria is met. We expect confirmation in the next few days."
The UCI also confirmed that Total Direct Energie, as the World Ranking's top ProTeam in 2019, are automatically invited to all WorldTour events. That has already proved controversial, with the French team asked to decline their invite to the Giro d'Italia by organiser RCS in order to field another home Italian team. Circus-Wanty Gobert will automatically be invited to the UCI Classic Series events having finished second in the ranking this year.
A total of 18 teams are registered as ProTeams for 2020, with new teams including Spanish squad Fundacion-Orbea and Uno - X Norweigian Development Team (Norway).
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