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No Cofidis as five new teams apply for Women's WorldTeam licenses in 2022

Peloton at the start of inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes
Peloton at the start of inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes (Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI announced Tuesday the five new teams that have submitted applications for a top-tier Women's WorldTeam license in 2022. Notably absent from the list was the new Cofidis women's team, while there was also a surprise applicant with the Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad.

There was expected to be space for 15 WorldTeams in 2022, so in addition to the existing nine teams which have all maintained their top-tier status, there was space for six more. It is unclear if the remaining spot will be filled.

Teams that had expressed an interest in applying for a Women's WorldTeam license were existing Continental teams Jumbo-Visma, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank and Rally Cycling, along with new women's teams set to launch next year Uno-X and Cofidis.

Unlike in previous years, Uno-X and Cofidis were permitted to apply for a top-tier licence upon their foundation due to the new amendment to Article 2.013.034 bis. However, new teams aiming to jump straight to the WorldTour must fulfill the four main requirements: financial, ethical, administrative, and organisational.

"In compliance with article 2.13.032 of the UCI Regulations, 5 women’s teams have applied for a UCI Women’s WorldTeam licence and for registration as a UCI Women’s WorldTeam. This would bring the number of UCI Women’s WorldTeams to 14 for the 2022 season," stated in the UCI press release.

It appears that while Cofidis had an initial aim at applying for a top-tier licence, it has either not applied, or was not able to fulfil all of the four main requirements. The team will instead launch as a Continental team in 2022. However, the team told Cyclingnews that they have a goal of becoming part of the Women’s WorldTour. 

"We will not be WWT on the first season but the division below. But one of the main goal is to be on WWT as soon as possible," a representative of the Cofidis team told Cyclingnews on Wednesday.

The team's general manager, Cédric Vasseur, explained the details behind the €1 million a year programme earlier this year, along with the composition of the 10-rider roster and the goal of starting at the women’s Tour de France in 2022, which they could still do as a second-tier team with an invitation from organisers ASO.

The nine returning top-tier teams include Canyon-Sram Racing, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, Movistar Team Women, Team BikeExchange-Jayco, Team DSM, SD Worx, Trek-Segafredo and Ale' BTC Ljubljana, which is in negotiations for a takeover by UAE Team Emirates that is currently under review by the UCI.

Five new applicants

  • Rally Cycling
  • Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
  • Team Jumbo-Visma
  • Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

Nine returning teams

  • Canyon-Sram Racing
  • FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
  • Liv Racing Xstra
  • Movistar Team Women
  • Team BikeExchange-Jayco
  • Team DSM
  • Team SD Worx
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • Ale' BTC Ljubljana (projected takeover by UAE TEAM under review by the UCI and subject to UCI Licence Commission approval)
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.