The UCI's list of WorldTeam and Pro Continental Team applicants provides a glimpse of what next year's pro peloton will look like.
The UCI announced Tuesday a list of teams applying for WorldTeam and Pro Continental status in 2016. Based on this preliminary list, we have a few glimpses of what next year’s peloton will look like, and so far, it should seem fairly familiar to cycling fans.
The number of WorldTeams remains at 17 — one short of the 18-team limit set by the UCI. None of these squads are seeing major sponsorship changes. There are only two notable updates: Both Cannondale and Tinkoff are dropping co-sponsors from their team titles. Those squads will no longer carry the Garmin and Saxo names, respectively. Cannondale team officials have confirmed that Garmin will remain involved with the team in the coming season.
The Pro Continental list sees a few fresh names in the mix. As previously reported, Direct Energie will take over as sponsor of the French outfit that previously flew the flag for Europcar. Fortuneo-Vital Concept takes over for Bretagne-Séché Environvement, also based in France. Dimension Data is another major player in the second division, and that sponsor takes over the MTN-Qhubeka squad. It remains to be seen if the South African team will keep its striking black-and-white stripes. Delko Marseille-Provence KTM is aiming to step up from the Continental to Pro Continental ranks. This French team formerly raced as Marseille 13-KTM. Similarly, Swiss team Roth-Skoda is applying to upgrade to the second tier. Tharcor is also a new name among the Pro Continental teams. Manager Angelo Citracca confirmed that it is the name of a management company which will take over Team Southeast, which has been plagued by numerous doping scandals in recent years.
UCI WorldTeam applicants
Ag2r La Mondiale
Trek Factory Racing
Cannondale Pro Cycling
UCI Professional Continental Team applicants
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
CCC Sprandi Polkowice
Cult Energy-Stolting Group
Delko Marseille Provence KTM
Roompot Oranje Peloton