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UCI confirms Women's WorldTour expansion to 14 teams for 2022

FELIXSTOWE ENGLAND OCTOBER 09 LR Elisa Balsamo of Italy and Team Valcar Travel Service Lauren Stephens of United States and Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank Ane Santesteban Gonzalez of Spain and Team BikeExchange and Amy Pieters of Netherlands lead the peloton passing through Glemsford Village in Suffolk during the 7th The Womens Tour 2021 Stage 6 a 160km stage from Haverhill to Felixstowe thewomenstour UCIWWT on October 09 2021 in Felixstowe England Photo by Justin SetterfieldGetty Images
The Women's WorldTour peloton at the 2021 Women's Tour (Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Six teams have been granted Women's WorldTour licences by the UCI for the 2022 season as the top division of women's cycling expands from nine to 14 teams for next year.

The UCI License Commission has granted Jumbo-Visma, EF Education-Tibco-SVB, Human Powered Health (formerly Rally Cycling), Roland Cogeas Edelweiss, and the newly established Uno-X team licenses for 2022.

UAE Team are also among the new teams awarded a license for 2022, though they will take Alé-Cipollini's place following the takeover of the Italian squad.

All six teams will be granted two-year licenses per UCI regulations, while the granting of the licenses means that the Women's WorldTour will consist of 14 teams for next season, one short of the UCI-legislated maximum of 15.

Canyon-Sram, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv-Xstra, Movistar, BikeExchange-Jayco, SD Worx, Team DSM, and Trek-Segafredo all retain their existing Women's WorldTour places for 2022.

The new registrations means that riders such as Marianne Vos, Coryn Labecki (Jumbo-Visma), Lauren Stephens, Lizzie Banks (EF-Tibco-SVB), Mieke Kröger (Human Powered Health), Hannah Barnes, Joscelin Lowden (Uno-X) and Olga Zabelinskaya (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss) will all make the step up to the Women's WorldTour next year.

With a new minimum team size of 10 riders (and a maximum of 20) per Women's WorldTour squad in place for 2022, the expansion means that at least 140 riders will make up women's cycling's top division next season.

It also means that more riders will earn the new, higher minimum salary next season. UCI regulations stipulate that riders contracted as employees will earn at least €27,500 (£23,572) – up from €20,000 (£17,148) in 2021 – while those contracted as self-employed will earn at least €45,100 (£38,668) – up from €32,800 (£28,122).

From 2023 onwards, the Women's WorldTour minimum salary will match the men's ProTeam (second division) minimum, which is currently €32,100 (£27,522).

Women's WorldTour riders also receive health and accident insurance, maternity leave (paid at 100 per cent of salary for three months and 50 per cent for five months thereafter, though capped at the lower end by the minimum salary), a minimum of 30 paid holiday days, and a maximum of 75 race days.

The expansion of the Women's WorldTour also means that top level races during the year – from March's Strade Bianche Donne to the inaugural Tour de France Femmes and the season-ending Tour of Guangxi – will see a drop in the number of free entries for teams outside the Women's WorldTour.

With a maximum of 24 teams able to participate in top level races, 10 entries will now be available to teams outside of women's cycling's top division. Teams such as Arkéa, Ceratizit-WNT, Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur, Valcar-Travel & Service, and Parkhotel Valkenburg are among the most high-profile squads remaining outside the Women's WorldTour.

The Women's WorldTour calendar is set to be bigger than ever next season, with 25 races set on the 2022 calendar (excluding the cancelled Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race), up from the record of 24 in 2018.

New races for next season include the three-day Itzulia Women in May, the six-day Scandinavia-based Battle of the North in August, and the three-day Tour de Romandie Féminin in October. July's Giro d'Italia Donne will return to the Women's WorldTour – as will several races cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2021 – while the eight-day Tour de France Femmes is set for later in July.

2022 Women's WorldTour teams

  • Canyon-Sram (Ger)
  • EF Education-Tibco-SVB (USA)
  • FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
  • Human Powered Health (USA)
  • Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
  • Liv Racing-Xstra (Ned)
  • Movistar (Spa)
  • Roland Cogeas Edelweiss (Swi)
  • SD Worx (Ned)
  • Team BikeExchange-Jayco (Aus)
  • Team DSM (Ger)
  • Trek-Segafredo (USA)
  • UAE Team (UAE)
  • Uno-X Pro Cycling (Nor)

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Daniel Ostanek has been a staff writer at Cyclingnews since August 2019, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later part-time production editor. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.