British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), Wiggle Honda’s golden girls, and Giant-Shimano’s Lucy Garner, twice a world junior champion for Great Britain, are all a step closer to competing at Britain’s most prestigious women’s road race, The Women’s Tour, after the UCI announced the automatic invitations for the 2014 women’s road season.
A total of 31 UCI Women’s Teams have been registered for the coming season, and have been ranked according to the performances of their four best riders last season, plus points from the world team time trial championships.
The top ten teams in the ‘provisional rankings’ will be automatically invited to compete in class one events during the season – of which the Women’s Tour is one – while the top 20 will compete in women’s World Cup events.
It means Armitstead’s Boels-Dolmans team, ranked third, Wiggle Honda, who sit sixth, and Garner’s seventh-placed Giant-Shimano squad will all receive automatic invites to the Women’s Tour alongside other prestigious races such as the Giro Feminine.
Emma Pooley, who has signed for Lotto-Belisol Ladies for the coming season after taking time out to study last season, are ranked 12th, and so will join the top-ranked teams at events such as the Tour of Flanders and La Fleche Wallonne Feminine.
The 2014 ‘provisional ranking’ is topped by the Dutch Rabo Liv Women Cycling team, who boast world and Olympic champion, Marianne Vos, in their ranks.
Ellen van Dijk’s Specialized-Lululemon and Emma Johansson’s Orica-AIS are also guaranteed an invitation to the Women’s Tour, which rolls out of Oundle on May 7, based on their current ranking.
2014 women’s cycling ‘provisional ranking’
Teams 1-10 guaranteed invitations to class one races and Women’s World Cup
1) Rabo Liv Women (NED)
2) Orica-AIS (AUS)
3) Boels-Dolmas (NED)
4) Specialized-Lululemon (USA)
5) Hitec Products (NOR)
6) Wiggle-Honda (GBR)
7) Team Giant-Shimano (NED)
8) Ale Cipollini (ITA)
9) Rusvelo (RUS)
10) Astana Bepink (ITA)
Teams 11-20 guaranteed invitations to Women’s World Cup
11) Estado de Mexico Faren (MEX)
12) Lotto-Belisol Ladies (BEL)
13) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
14) Bizkaia-Durango (ESP)
15) Bigla Cycling Team (SUI)
16) Servetto Footon (ITA)
17) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (ITA)
18) SC Michela Fanini Rox (ITA)
19) UnitedHealthCare (USA)
21) Vienne Futuroscope (FRA)
22) Vaiano Fondriest (ITA)
23) BTC City Ljubljana (SLO)
24) Futurumshop.Nl-Zannata (NED)
25) China Chongming-Giant (HKG)
26) Parkhotel Valkenburg (NED)
27) Topsport Vlaanderen (BEL)
28) Firefighters Upsala CK (SWE)
29) Tibco/To The Top (USA)
30) Team Rytger (DEN)
31) No Radunion Vitalogic (AUT)