By Alex Ballinger published
The UCI WorldTour is professional cycling’s equivalent of the Premier League - the highest tier of competition that guarantees invites to the biggest races on the calendar.
Thanks to cycling’s turbulent business model, the WorldTour is constantly in a state of flux, as teams float in out of the division.
On Tuesday (October 19), cycling’s international governing body the UCI published the list of women’s and men’s teams that have applied for WorldTour status in 2022.
There are 43 candidates who have submitted applications to the UCI this year to become WorldTeams, including nine women’s teams and 18 men’s team who wish to renew their licences, while 16 men’s teams have applied to be UCI ProTeams, cycling’s second division.
Only one of the existing men’s teams hasn’t applied to be WorldTour next year, as Qhubeka-NextHash is facing an uncertain future after cryptocurrency firm NextHash reportedly failed to meet its financial commitments earlier this year, with riders told to search for new contracts.
Following the introduction of the Women’s WorldTour status at the start of 2020, there are now an additional five teams hoping to step up to the highest level of the women’s sport, bringing the total of potential Women’s WorldTeams to 14 next year.
Rally Cycling, Roland, Cogeas Edelwiess Squad, Jumbo-Visma, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank and Uno-X Pro Cycling Team are all applying to join the Women’s WorldTour, alongside existing outfits Canyon-SRAM, SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo.
In the men’s ProTeam level, there are a number of teams who have expressed interest in stepping up to WorldTeam level in the coming years, but they have all applied to be ProTeams next season.
Alpecin-Fenix, Arkéa-Samsic and TotalEnergies are the biggest contenders to step up to the top level in the coming years.
Belgian-registered team Alpecin is currently the top-ranked ProTeam in the world, with only six of the 19 WorldTeams currently ranked higher, thanks to the successes of star riders Mathieu van der Poel, Tim Merlier, and Jasper Philipsen.
French squad Arkéa has been chasing promotion to the WorldTour for the last few years, after signing Grand Tour star Nairo Quintana in 2020.
TotalEnergies is also hoping to climb the ranks through star riders, as the squad signed one of the biggest names in the sport, Peter Sagan, for 2022.
The UCI will now assess all the applications alongside financial auditor PwC.The international governing body will give WorldTour licences based on four criteria – ethical, financial, administrative, and organisational.
Teams are still eligible to submit applications until December.
WorldTour applications for 2022
Women’s teams applying for a UCI Women’s WorldTour licence and registration as a UCI Women’s WorldTeam:
Women’s teams applying for registration as a UCI Women’s WorldTeam:
Men’s teams applying for registration as a UCI WorldTeam:
Men’s teams applying for registration as a UCI ProTeam:
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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