UCI grants Katusha ProTeam license, expands WorldTour to 19 teams

Russian squad's CAS appeal sees WorldTour balloon to 19 teams in 2013

The ProTeam ranks will expand to 19 this season following the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling last week in favor of Katusha’s license appeal, cycling’s governing body, the UCI, announced on Monday.

Reversing earlier statements in which the UCI said the WorldTour league would remain at 18 teams regardless of the Katusha ruling, it issued a press release on Monday confirming Katusha’s place among the sport’s top squads.

“The decision comes further to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling of February 15, 2013, which upheld the application of Katusha Management SA to be registered as a UCI ProTeam for the season 2013,” the UCI said in the release. The decision to have 19 as opposed to 18 Teams was taken by the Professional Cycling Council today.”

The move could have wide-reaching impacts, as WorldTour events are required by the UCI to invite every one of the ProTeams. These events complement the top-tier squads with Pro Continental teams. Events including the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France will now be required to invite 19 teams, leading to one less wildcard slot or one additional team in each race.