Victor Campenaerts wins stage 15 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia

No license for Qhubeka-Nexthash, 14 women’s WorldTeam licenses granted

The UCI has refused a pro license to Qhubeka-Nexthash for 2022. The end of the African team is unfortunately very near.

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

Jump To Comments

The UCI has announced the licenses for 2022 for the men’s WorldTeams, women’s WorldTeams and Pro Teams for 2022. Qhubeka-Nexthash has been refused a license for the highest tier of cycling, the WorldTour, and also for the second tier, the Pro Teams. With this news, it seems like the end of the line for the African team has come.

MTN-Qhubeka joined the pro peloton in 2013 after five seasons at continental level. The win by Gerald Ciolek in Milan-Sanremo is one of the most memorable victories of the team as is the win by Steve Cummings in the Tour de France of 2015 on Nelson Mandela day. The team, dubbed Africa’s Team, has been a springboard for many African riders onto the European cycling scene. This year the team scored a memorable hat-trick in the Giro d’Italia with stage wins by Victor Campenaerts, Giacomo Nizzolo and Mauro Schmid.

The team has been in sponsorship turmoil since 2020. Very late into the season Assos came onboard as a last-minute sponsor to rescue the team but this year team manager Douglas Ryder, unfortunately, appears not to have succeeded to secure sponsorship. The addition of Nexthash, a cryptocurrency company just before the Tour de France turned out to be an empty shell leaving riders like Simon Clarke, Robert Power, Domenico Pozzovivo, Connor Brown, Sergio Henao and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, part of the team since 2010, without a ride for 2022.

The UCI granted 18 men’s WorldTeam licenses and 14 women’s WorldTeam licenses. The 18 men’s teams remain the same while Team Jumbo-Visma, EF Education-Tibco-SVB, Human Powered Health (formerly Rally Pro Cycling), Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad, Uno-X Pro Cycling and UAE Team (formerly Alé-BTC Ljubljana) join the ranks of the women’s WorldTour for 2022. It leaves one more spot for the 2023 season for another aspiring women’s team. Whether that is one of the current eight men’s World Teams without a women’s team or a new team will be known next year.

The UCI also awarded 17 Pro Team licenses, the lowest number of second division teams ever. Italian team Vini Zabú and French team Delko disappeared from the list for 2022. With only 18 WorldTeams two of the Pro Teams now get an automatic right to start all World Tour events, including the three Grand Tours. Just like in 2021 that is Alpecin Fenix, winner of the ranking and for the first time Arkéa-Samsic opening up the possibility for riders like Warren Barguil and Nairo Quintana to contest the Giro d’Italia, an ambition they have both spoken out about. TotalEnergies gets an automatic invite to all the WorldTour one day events securing a spot for Peter Sagan et al in all the Spring Classics.

Editors' Picks