The UCI has revealed the list of teams applying for WorldTour license for 2020-2022, with 20 teams applying for a spot in the sport's highest division. 17 teams have applied for ProTeam status, down from 24 Pro Continental teams in 2019.
All 18 current WorldTour teams are on the list of WorldTeam applications, with Dimension Data down under their new identity of NTT Pro Cycling and Katusha and Israel Cycling Academy listed as Team Katusha-Israel Cycling Academy after the latter bought the Swiss-based team's license earlier this week.
Arkéa-Samsic and Cofidis are the only two current second division sides seeking to move up to the WorldTour, while possible bids from Vital Concept-B&B Hotels and Total Direct Énergie have not materialised.
Under new rules for the next three-year period of the WorldTour, up to 20 teams can secure a place at the top level. All 18 current WorldTour teams will be assured a place if they finish the season in the top 20 places in the retrospective three-year world ranking for UCI men's teams covering points scored in 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the 10 best riders of each team.
Should Arkéa-Samsic and Cofidis make the top 18 of the ranking, then they will have satisfied the sporting criteria necessary to make the WorldTour for the next three years. Prospective teams also have to satisfy ethical, financial, organisational and administrative rules in order to secure a WorldTour spot.
Under the new plans, a 20-team WorldTour would see just two wildcard places available to second division teams at the three Grand Tours, and two fewer spots at other WorldTour races. The reduced wildcard availability was cited as one reason for Nippo-Vini Fantini's folding.
As well as the Italian squad, two other teams will stop at the end of 2019, with Euskadi Basque Country-Murias and Roompot-Charles also missing from the list of ProTeam candidates for 2020.
Hagens Berman Axeon have confirmed they are stepping back down to Continental status for next season, while W52-Porto are also not on the list of applicants. Burgos-BH, who have just finished their second season at Pro Continental level, are also missing.
Fundacion Euskadi-Orbea and Uno-X Norwegian Development Team are the only teams on the list looking to make the step up to the second division.
The Women's WorldTour, which will consist of a minimum of five teams in its inaugural season next year, has eight applicants – the same teams that were confirmed back in August.
The current number one ranked team in the world, Boels Dolmans, was not among the applicants after their bid for a spot was declined. Applicants much be able to offer a four-year guarantee, however, the team's title sponsors Boels Rental and Dolmans announced at the World Championships that they would end sponsorship in 2020. Director Danny Stam is confident that he will find a replacement sponsor and that his team will be among the WorldTeams in future.
Men's UCI WorldTeam applicants
- AG2R La Mondiale
- Astana Pro Team
- CCC Team
- EF Education First
- Lotto soudal
- Movistar Team
- NTT Pro Cycling Team
- Team Arkéa-Samsic
- Team Ineos
- Team Jumbo-Visma
- Team Katusha-Israel Cycling Academy (under review by the UCI)
- Team Sunweb
- UAE Team Emirates
Men's UCI ProTeam applicants
- Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
- B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
- Bardiani CSF Faizanè
- Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
- Nippo Delko Marseille Provence
- Rally Cycling
- Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
- Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
- Team Novo Nordisk
- Neri Sottoli Selle Italia KTM
- Total Direct Energie
- Uno-X Norwegian Development Team
- Wallonie Bruxelles
- Wanty Gobert-Tormans
UCI Womens' WorldTeam applicants
- Alé BTC Ljubljana
- Canyon-Sram Racing
- FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
- Movistar Team Women
- Team Sunweb