The new team of time trial world champion Amber Neben, Team Véloconcept Women, has been guaranteed invitations to the UCI Women's WorldTour events by virtue of their top 10 ranking in the UCI's 'Invitational Ranking', the team announced this week.
The top 20 teams in the Invitational Rankings are guaranteed entry into Women's World Tour one-day-races, and the top 15 for the top stage races. Boels Dolmans, which dominated the UCI Women's WorldTour last season with Megan Guarnier and won the Worlds road race with Amalie Dideriksen, led the rankings ahead of Wiggle High5 and Marianne Vos' new WM3 squad.
Team Véloconcept was 10th in the rankings, which are calculated by the UCI "based on a sport evaluation made by the UCI administration on the teams registered". The Danish team is part of Bjarne Riis and former Saxo Bank CEO Lars Seier's cycling project together with the men's Continental team.
"We have great ambitions for the team this season and the seasons to come. This year we are going to find our place among the other teams, and the women are going to learn to race like a team," Bjarne Riis said in a press release. "I am very excited for the start of the season, and I look forward to see them race for victory."
Neben heads up the team with compatriot Carmen Small, five Danish riders, two Swedes and one each from New Zealand, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
"It is really great that we now have a Danish team among the top 10 in the world and access to all the big races. Now it is up to us to show that we deserve to be here. But it is cool, and the riders are thrilled and really motivated," team manager Bo Handberg Madsen said.
"It is very important for the planning and the structure of the season. Now we are able to sit down in the training camp and make a plan and set goals for each rider. It gives a lot of peace for the team."
2017 UCI 'Invitational Ranking'
|1||Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||4244||pts|
|3||WM3 Pro Cycling Team||2483|
|5||Canyon SRAM Racing||1992|
|7||Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team||1684|
|9||Cylance Pro Cycling||1406|
|10||Team Veloconcept Women||1013|
|13||Lares - Waowdeals Women Cycling Team||840|
|14||Lensworld - Kuota||802|
|15||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||784|
|16||BTC City Ljubljana||754|
|17||Lotto Soudal Ladies||646|
|18||Astana Women's Team||610|
|19||Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank||550|
|21||S.C. Michela Fanini||497|
|23||Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling Team||401|
|24||Bizkaia - Durango||346|
|26||Parkhotel Valkenburg - Destil Cycling Team||264|
|28||SAS - MACOGEP||174|
|29||Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||131|
|30||Team Wnt Pro Cycling||115|
|31||Sport Vlaanderen - Etixx||107|
|32||Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling||105|
|34||China Chongming - Liv Pro Cycling||65|
|35||Weber Shimano Ladies Power||60|
|37||Hagens Berman / Supermint||46|
|41||Minsk Cycling Club||13|