The UCI have confirmed the 2013 WorldTour will have 19 teams for the remainder of the season after Katusha had their top-tier licence reinstated.
The Russian teamwon their Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal on Friday (February 15) having previously been denied a WorldTour licence by cycling’s world governing body.
“The UCI today announced that exceptionally there are 19 registered UCI ProTeams in the 2013 season,” read a UCI statement.
“The decision comes further to the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling of 15 February 2013 which upheld the application of Katusha Management SA to be registered as a UCI ProTeam for the season 2013.
“The decision to have 19 as opposed to 18 Teams was taken by the Professional Cycling Council today.”
The UCI had faced the prospect of revoking one team’s WorldTour licence, most likely Argos-Shimano, FDJ or SaxoBank-Tinkoff, once Katusha won their appeal in order to keep the status quo of 18 top tier teams.
And while this latest decision removes that possibility, it poses new problems for races such as the Giro d’Italia, whose organisers have already made their four wildcard picks on the basis of 18 WorldTour team. They, along with organisers of Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico, now face the prospect of having to eject one wildcard team, opening up the race to a bigger field, or reducing the number of riders per team.