The UCI announced the 18th and final team for the 2017 WorldTour Tuesday, UAE Abu Dhabi. The team is the latest permutation of the Lampre – Merida outfit, which for a few months was believed to become the first Chinese WorldTour team under the TJ Sport Banner.
However, TJ Sport’s support wavered and the team, which counts South African Louis Meintjes and Brit Ben Swift as top riders, was left without a team license after the UCI’s first WorldTour announcement in November. Now the squad is guaranteed a spot in the sport’s biggest races, including the Tour de France. The UCI said UAE Abu Dhabi’s license was good for two seasons.
In that same Tuesday announcement, the UCI stated that Pro Continental teams Soul Brasil and Verva ActiveJet were still under review by the license commission.