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by Mark Zalewski
November 10, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marini wins fourth stage at Tour of Taihu Lake; Dimension Data set to remain in WorldTour as UCI increases maximum number of teams; WorldTour lite? Participation not mandatory for UCI WorldTeams at 10 new WorldTour events; Marianne Vos reunites with team director Jeroen Blijlevens; Nikki Brammeier recounts dealing with concussion after crash; Brailsford, British Cycling to be questioned by Parliament; New RCS Medigroup president considers auctioning Giro TV rights; Lars van der Haar out with leg injury; JLT-Condor signs Brenton Jones; Team CCB International announces roster; British time trial events see more testing, no positives; Amateur cyclist admits to doping; American racer loses bet, gets tattoo of New Zealand; Final stages of Tour of Southland; Snow Bike Festival, Gstaad 2017 trailer; Never have a flat again?
The possibility that Team Dimension Data could lose its place in the WorldTour in 2017 is fading after the UCI confirmed that a maximum of 18 places will be granted next season. The governing body announced the news in a statement issued on Wednesday morning. It follows Tuesday’s meeting of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), where new regulations were agreed.
“Since the commencement of the UCI WorldTeam registration process for 2017, it has become clear that there are 18 candidates for UCI WorldTeam licences,” stated the UCI. “With this in mind, the PCC has decided that for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, a maximum of 18 UCI WorldTeam licences may be issued.
“In the medium term, the ambition is to strengthen the competitiveness of elite level and therefore to set the maximum number of UCI WorldTeams to 17 in 2019 and 16 from 2020 onwards.”
There are currently 18 candidates for a place in cycling’s top echelon, including Team Dimension Data. The South African squad stepped up to the WorldTour prior to the 2016 season but was ranked last, despite taking five stages in the Tour de France. The team came under pressure when the UCI announced in June that the number of WorldTour teams would drop to 17 as part of a compromise agreement with Tour organisers ASO. The latter had been in dispute with the UCI over its WorldTour reforms.
While two of the existing WorldTour teams, Tinkoff and IAM Cycling, were set to leave the sport, two others have stepped up to fill their slots. Together with Team Dimension Data, new squads Bahrain-Merida and TJ Sport had been pushing for inclusion. Increasing the number of possible teams to 18 means that one will no longer automatically lose out.
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