British Cycling has confirmed the first four teams to be awarded the new British Cycling Elite National Team status, along with five UCI Continental Status teams for the 2014 season.
The nine teams confirmed today are:
British Cycling Elite National
- Starley Primal Pro Cycling
- Catford CC Equipe/Banks
- Wheelbase Altura MGD
- Rapha Condor JLT
- Team Raleigh
- Madison-Genesis RT
Together, the nine teams will form the backbone of the domestic peloton in 2014 with each guaranteeing a minimum of four starters in each round of the British Cycling Elite Road Series.
Riders within teams affiliated to the Elite Road Series will be eligible to score points towards the team and individual classifications of the new Spring Cup and Grand Prix series, which when combined form the season-long Elite Road Series rankings.
Conversely, riders from teams and clubs not affiliated to the series will still be eligible for the individual classifications, however the team classification be restricted to those teams who are affiliated to the whole series.
Looking ahead to the 2014 road season, British Cycling’s cycle sport and membership director, Jonny Clay, said: “2014 looks set to be an exciting season for the sport in the UK. Our strength in depth is reflected in the number of events in our national series, the number of teams and the calibre of the riders making up those squads.”
British Cycling introduced the new categories for teams in November 2013 to help recognise those outfits who operate beneath the UCI Continental category, but are distinct from a sponsored club set up.
Explaining the strategy behind the creation of the new classifications, Jonny Clay said: “Outside the UCI continental classification, the difference between a sponsored club and a professional team has been something of a grey area for a number of years.
"We wanted to provide teams who are committed to supporting the sport with a guarantee that they’ll have access to the best races in the country.
“At the same time, riders and organisers need to know that they’re going to be supported to an appropriate level for the whole domestic season. Elite National Team classification helps to do this and gives teams who might aspire to become UCI teams in the future a space in which to grow.”
British Cycling is currently reviewing a number of further applications for Elite National Team status and any additional teams will be confirmed in due course as appropriate in advance of the first round of the Elite Road Series.
The British Cycling Elite Road Series gets underway in April with the Tour of the Reservoir round 1 of the 2014 Spring Cup.
Further event details for the 2014 British Cycling Elite Road Series.