Five new teams angle for women’s top league, Qhubeka-NextHash missing in men’s WorldTour licenses
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The UCI released its first round of license renewals for 2022, and there are a few surprises among the 48 teams petitioning for licenses.
Five teams are making bids to step up to Women’s WorldTeam status for 2022, while no new teams are petitioning to join the current lineup of the men’s WorldTour next year.
The UCI confirmed Tuesday the list of women’s and men’s teams seeking renewals and others looking to step up to the top leagues for 2022.
The door is not completely shut for teams missing these first round of documentation and bank guarantees, but time will soon become an issue.
“The UCI would like to specify that teams that do not appear on this list still have the possibility to finalize their applications before the end of the registration procedure, which will be determined by the completion of the Licence Commission hearings, anticipated for December,” the UCI said Tuesday.
Five new teams want to join top women’s league
The big news Tuesday is that five teams are hoping to join the women’s top league, which would bring the total to 14 for 2022. Those teams include Rally Cycling, Roland Cogeas Edelweiss, Jumbo-Visma, Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, and Uno-X Pro.
All nine of the 2021 WorldTeam squads will be re-upping, with Alé BTC Ljubljana being taken over by UAE Team for next season.
On the men’s side, there are no new teams bidding to jump into the WorldTour right now. All of the 2021 teams are filing to continue in the WorldTour, minus Qhubeka-NextHash.
The South Africa-backed team continues to search for new partners for 2022, and hopes to be able to pull something together to meet the next round of licensing deadlines.
The team notified riders last month that it was facing headwinds in a search for new backers, and many top names have already left the team to find new contracts for 2022.
Of the 18 returning WorldTour teams, the only significant changes are a few new co-sponsors stepping in for 2022.
BikeExchange sees the addition of Jayco, while Alpha Vinyl will join Quick-Step in co-sponsoring the long-running Belgian team. Astana loses Premier Tech as a co-sponsor, and will race as Astana-Qazaqstan in 2022.
Peter Sagan will race in second tier in 2022
For the second-tier ProTeam licenses, there are 16 teams looking to renew their licenses for next year.
Alpecin-Fenix, which raced all three grand tours in 2021 after winning the category ranking last year, will remain as a ProTeam for next year.
Also remaining at the second tier is Direct Energies, the new home of superstar Peter Sagan. Team officials want to move to the WorldTour, but those plans look delayed until at least 2023.
Since ProTeam squads are not guaranteed a place in the major races, Sagan and others in the second tier must rely on invitations from race organizers to start the grand tours, major one-week stage races, and the one-day classics.
U.S.-registered teams Rally Cycling and Novo Nordisk are both re-upping for 2022 at the ProTeam level.
Missing from the list released Tuesday is the long-running Androni-Sidermec team. The team dates back to the 1990s, and confirmed earlier this year a new co-sponsor is coming on to keep the team in the peloton for three more years. Team officials were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
The release Tuesday from the UCI was the first confirmation of teams that met a series of early deadlines required by UCI rules to apply for racing licenses. Teams will have until December to put everything in order, the UCI said.