On Tuesday the UCI released the list of 14 women’s teams applying for WorldTeam status in 2022. The list includes nine teams that raced as WorldTeams in 2021 along with five new or former Continental teams vying for the top tier.
The teams reapplying for WorldTeam registration included Canyon-SRAM, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, Movistar, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM, SD Worx, Trek-Segafredo, and Alé BTC Ljubljana. The only visible changes for returning WorldTeam teams thus far is that Alé BTC Ljubljana will likely become UAE Team, although the acquisition is currently under review by the UCI, Team BikeExchange is listed as ‘Team BikeExchange-Jayco’, and Liv Racing as ‘Liv Racing Xstra’.
As for the five new teams hoping to make the jump to WorldTeam status, most have been vocal about their intentions to move up the ranks. Rally Cycling announced early in the 2021 season they were hoping to become a WorldTeam in 2022, as did the new Norwegian outfit Uno-X.
Uno-X picked up a few top riders to balance the young talent on their team for 2022. Most notably the former British national road champion Hannah Barnes who has raced for Canyon-SRAM since 2016, world record holder Joss Lowden who spent the last three years with the British Drops team, Toyko 2020 Olympic silver medalist in the madison Julie Leth, and multi-time track world champion Elinor Barker.
Rally Cycling, a formerly all North American team, has picked up German time trial specialist Mieke Kröger. They have only announced seven riders so far for 2022 with only two returning riders.
Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank has long been racing at the top level as a Continental team and has spent the last couple of years focused almost entirely on the European calendar so it comes as no surprise they would want to solidify their place among the top teams next season. As of Tuesday, they have not announced who will make up their 2022 roster.
Team Jumbo-Visma was such a strong team right off the bat that it was easy to forget they weren’t already WorldTeam in 2021. Home to the G.O.A.T. Marianne Vos, Jumbo-Visma won one of the first races of the year, Gent-Wevelgem. As per the now-defunct UCI rule, Jumbo-Visma had to spend one year as a Continental team before making the jump to WorldTeam. It is only natural they move up in 2022.
The final team on the list, Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad, is a surprise addition. Very little is known at this point about the Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad.
A notable absence from the list is the new Cofidis women’s team who announced at the beginning of the year their intentions to race as a top tier team.
With the addition of five teams, the total number of WorldTeams in the women’s peloton would be 14 in 2022. The UCI have room for 15 teams at the top level but it’s unclear if the final spot will be filled or left for 2023. There is still time for one more team to apply since the deadline for application is anticipated for December.