And the winners are………………….

The UCI announced today (see list below) in effect the 18 teams which will make up next season’s premier division, the World Tour. While two are still pending, one assumes they’ll be ratified in due course. The French will have the bunting out as there are now two teams in the top-tier as FDJ joins AG2R. No room at the inn for Tommy Voeckler’s Europcar but one assumes they’ll be in the races which matter to them, including next year’s Tour de France, joined probably by Saur Sojasun, Cofidis and Bretagne Schuller.

I was delighted to see that despite the “carrots cash crisis”, Euskaltel-Euskadi remain in the first division. The other team which has “lost out” is Geox but given the sponsor walked away at the last minute, it was to be expected. Rumours have abounded of the management seeking sponsors as far afield as Venezuela. If they’re successful, the team will have to settle for a place, once again, in the second division.

2012 World Tour Teams

  • AG2R La Mondiale
  • Astana Pro Team
  • BMC Racing Team
  • FDJ
  • Euskaltel – Euskadi
  • Garmin – Cervélo
  • Katusha Team
  • Lampre – ISD
  • Liquigas – Cannondale
  • Lotto Cycling Project
  • Movistar Team
  • Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
  • Rabobank
  • Saxo Bank
  • Sky Procycling
  • Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team

Pending:

  • GreenEdge Cycling
  • Team RadioShack – Nissan

Postscript: The pending have been ratified.

3 thoughts on “And the winners are………………….

  1. A real shame that Europcar haven’t been included, although I often think that for smaller teams with smaller budgets it can be a blessing in disguise not to have to fulfil all the WorldTour obligations. They will always be included at the TdF and the other major French races, and that must surely give the sponsors more bang for their buck than racing in Oman, say.

    As the 18th (and bottom) ranked team in the 2011 WorldTour, Vacansoleil should consider themselves lucky, particularly with all the hoo-hah around Ricco, whose points helped them qualify for the licence in the first place. Similarly AG2R, who (if my maths is correct) only avoided bottom spot (372 vs Vacansoleil’s 369) by throwing the kitchen sink at the Tour of Beijing. Interestingly the Euskaltel boys were a solid 14th almost single-handedly due to Sammy Sanchez, who accumulated 65% of their total points all on his own. I imagine most of those points came on the big mountain stages of the Tour.

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  2. Am in total agreement with the points you’ve made. Taking part in the Tour de France remains the holy grail for most teams and, if ASO do as they did this year, the wild cards will go to the four second division French squads. However, it’s difficult to amass enough points to be promoted to the World Tour without resorting to buying them in.

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