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Cofidis's WorldTour status confirmed while Mitchelton-Scott await final paperwork

Joseph Delves
11 Dec 2019

Longstanding French squad make the jump from Professional Continental level

Having held a ProContinental licence since 2010, longstanding French outfit Cofidis will return to the highest level of the sport in 2020. The UCI has just released a list detailing the first 18 teams that will make up next year's WorldTour roster, guaranteeing them entry to the season’s biggest races.

With all last year’s teams staying put, Cofidis represents the only outfit to be promoted. Having recently signed sprinter Elia Viviani, they’ll be hoping the Italian can help them to fight it out in the big leagues. Founded in 1997, Cofidis previously held WorldTour status between 2005 and 2009.

The team's return to the WorldTour will increase the total number of teams competing from 18 to 19. Cofidis's promotion was already expected, but they had to meet the 'administrative, ethical, financial, organisational and sporting' guidelines set by the UCI before having their spot at the top table assured.

With Israel Cycling Academy having gained a WorldTour licence by buying-out existing team Katusha-Alpecin, they will represent the second fresh name for 2020.

Now racing under different titles, Bahrain-Merida become Bahrain-McLaren, while Dimension Data will be known as NTT Pro Cycling Team.

Of the ProContinental teams missing out on promotion, Arkéa–Samsic are likely to be most sore. Now home to previous Giro and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana, the French-registered outfit will have to fight for wildcard entries to the big races.

Also currently missing from the UCI’s recently released list are Aussie squad Mitchelton-Scott.

'The file of the UCI WorldTeam Mitchelton-Scott is still being evaluated by the UCI Licence Commission, and a decision will be issued as soon as possible,' said the sport’s governing body in a recent statement.

Home to the Yates brothers, the team issued a statement putting the delay down to 'a slight delay in one of the documents required by the UCI,' and said they expect their status to be confirmed in the next few days.

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