The UCI has published several updates to the rulebook concerning the UCI Women’s WorldTour for 2018. Among those changes, organisers of the highest tier of women's events (stage races and one-day races) will be obliged to invite the top 15 ranked UCI Women's Teams, reduced from 20 teams the previous year.
The overall team ranking will once again determine the UCI Women’s WorldTour participation for the 2018 season – as per the updated rules, the UCI Women's Team ranking shall be published on the second Sunday of January. Therefore, the UCI will publish the new UCI Women’s Team ranking on Sunday, January 14.
The organiser must accept entries from these teams that have responded positively to an invitation.
Organisers of Women’s WorldTour events are permitted to field a maximum of 24 participating teams, a maximum of 176 riders. Fifteen are the top-ranked teams in the UCI Women’s Team ranking, two national teams (one from the country hosting the event and one invitation to a foreign national team), and the remaining teams must be UCI Women’s Teams.
As in prevous years, the UCI awards Women's WorldTour leader's jerseys to the leaders of the individual general classification and best young rider classification. Last year, Anna van der Breggen sealed the overall Women's WorldTour title ahead of Annemiek Van Vleuten and Katarzyna Niewiadoma. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won the young rider classification.
The UCI has again set restrictions on the maximum event distances of Women’s WorldTour. In stage races, the maximum average daily distance is 140km (120km for women elite races), maximum distance per stage is 160km (140km for women elite races), maximum distance per individual time trial is 40km and team time trial is 50km.
The maximum distance for one-day road races on the Women's WorldTour is 160km. In comparison, for one-day road races at the Olympic Games or World Championships, women elite race between 130-160km and for National Championships and Continental Championships/Games women elite race a maximum of 140km.
The maximum distance for women elite in an individual time trial is 20-30km for World Championships and 40km for all other events. While the maximum distances for women elite in team time trials is 20-40km in World Championships and 50km in all other events.
The UCI announced in June that the Women’s WorldTour series would expand to 23 races, for a total of 52 race days in 2018. Three new races were added to the calendar, including Trois Jours de La Panne, the Tour of Guangxi and Emakumeen Bira.
The UCI published the list of 42 UCI Women's Teams at the beginning of January. The ranking order of those teams will be published on January 14.
2018 UCI Women's Teams
Astana Women's Team
Bizkaia Durango-Euskadi Murias
Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
Cervelo-Bigla Pro Cycling Team
China Liv Pro Cycling
Cylance Pro Cycling
Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport Uci Women Cycling
Fdj Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
Health Mate-Cyclelive Team
Hitec Products-Birk Sport
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Minsk Cycling Club
Movistar Team Women
S.C. Michela Fanini
Sopela Women's Team
Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica
Team Dukla Praha Women
Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank
Team Virtu Cycling
Thailand Women's Cycling Team
Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
Twenty20 p/b Sho - Air
Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team
Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team
WNT Rotor Pro Cycling Team