Introducing the 2017 WorldTour teams
By Velon Media Team , 09 Jan 2017

A total of 18 teams are on the UCI WorldTour roster for the 2017 season. Here, Velon runs the rule over who's who this year.

Coming soon - individual team and rider pages.

BAHRAIN-MERIDA Pro Cycling Team

(Photo: BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team)

Website: http://www.teambahrainmerida.com/

Established: 2016

UCI Team Code: TBM

General Manager: Brent Copeland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bahrain_Merida

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BahrainMerida/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bahrain_merida/

BAHRAIN-MERIDA Pro Cycling Team’s inception for the 2017 season reflects the growing appetite for top-level cycling in the Middle East. Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s aim is "to support national vision to inspire sports enthusiasts in Bahrain and the Middle East". The signature of four-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali is a significant boost, with the likes of Enrico Gasparatto, Heinrich Haussler and Yukiya Arashiro supporting Nibali, one of the few riders to have won the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

BORA-hansgrohe

(Photo: BORA-hansgrohe/Matteo Pelucchi)

Website: https://www.bora-hansgrohe.com/en

Established: 2013

UCI Team Code: BOA

Team manager: Ralph Denk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/borahansgrohe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/borahansgroheofficial

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8rlqRMt762GzKCQl0CwBwg

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/borahansgrohe/

German-based outfit BORA-hansgrohe makes the step up to WorldTour level having recruited Peter Sagan, the double world road race champion and top-ranked rider in 2016. The flamboyant Slovakian will be ably assisted by the likes of Polish climber Rafał Majka, his former team-mate at Tinkoff, as Bora-Hansgrohe debuts at the top level of elite road cycling.

Team KATUSHA-ALPECIN

(Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Website: https://teamkatushaalpecin.com/

Established: 2009

UCI Team Code: KAT

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 6

General Manager: José Azevdo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katushacycling

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katushacycling

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katushacycling/

Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff will again lead the charge for Katusha-Alpecin (formerly Team Katusha) in 2017, while German time trial legend Tony Martin will add another dimension to its squad. Climber Ilnur Zakarin triumphed on Stage 17 of last season’s Tour de France, the punishing climb to Finhaut-Emosson in Switzerland.

ORICA-SCOTT

(Photo: ORICA-Scott)

Website: http://www.greenedgecycling.com/

Established: 2011

UCI Team Code: OBE

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 5

General manager: Shayne Bannan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OricaScott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenEdgeCycling

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oricascott/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV9vvIQ8gxceqrBkn-P7rlw

ORICA-SCOTT (formerly ORICA-BikeExchange) continues to fly the flag for Australia on the UCI WorldTour circuit, with Scott Sports becoming co-title sponsor. Roman Kreuziger, Roger Kluge and Carlos Verona join their roster for 2017, with Michael Matthews departing for Giant-Alpecin. Last season, Aussie veteran Mathew Hayman won Paris-Roubaix in sensational style at the 15th attempt.

Quick-Step Floors Pro Cycling Team

(Photo: Tim De Waele/Getty Images)

Website: www.quickstepfloorscycling.com/

Established: 2003

UCI Team Code: EQS

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 7

General Manager: Patrick Lefevere

Twitter: https://twitter.com/quickstepteam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quickstepteam

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quickstep_team/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OPQSCyclingTeam

Quick-Step Floors (formerly Etixx-Quickstep) continues its long-standing sponsorship of elite cycling as main sponsor for the Belgian-based team: Quick-Step has been title sponsor since 1998. Marcel Kittel, Tom Boonen and Dan Martin are among the best-known riders in the team's current line-up while New Zealand’s Jack Bauer began 2017 in style by winning his National ITT Championships in Napier on Friday 6th January.
 

Team Sunweb

(Photo: Team Sunweb)

Website: http://teamsunweb.com/

Established: 2005

UCI Team Code: TGA

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 16

General Manager: Iwan Spekenbrink

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teamsunweb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamSunweb

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamsunweb/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/TeamGiantAlpecin

Sunweb’s arrival as title sponsor creates Team Sunweb, a new name for 2017. Formerly known as Giant-Alpecin, the team will continue to ride Giant bikes and boasts an impressive line-up with Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil just two of the riders capable of making an impact at the big races this season.

Team UAE Abu Dhabi

(Photo: Team UAE Abu Dhabi)

Established: 1991

UCI Team Code: UAE

General Manager: Giuseppe Saronni

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamUAEAbuDhabi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamUAEAbuDhabi/   

Rui Costa, Louis Meintjes and former Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift are among the names to race in the colours of Team UAE Abu Dhabi (formerly Lampre-Merida) in 2017. At the team presentation in early January, team president Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri said: “A strong positive attitude and life along with strong competition and sport are key to a healthy mind and lifestyle and we here in the Emirates want to promote such positive values.”

For the following 11 teams on the UCI WorldTour in 2017, there are new faces and some kit changes.

AG2R La Mondiale

(Photo: AG2R-La Mondiale)

Website: http://www.ag2rlamondiale.fr/

Established: 1992

UCI Team Code: ALM

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 13

General Manager: Vincent Lavenu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AG2RLMCyclisme

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AG2R-La-Mondiale-Pro-Cycling-Team-454244578119054/?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ag2rlamondiale_procyclingteam/?hl=en

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9uf0bwPRSKXFVya8c63VhQ

The richly talented Romain Bardet will spearhead AG2R's assault on the Tour de France again in 2017. Bardet is a world-class climber who has also made his name as a daring descender. Bardet's compatriot Alexis Vuillermoz will hope to add to his Tour de France stage win back in 2015. Stijn Vandenbergh, formerly of Etixx-Quick Step, arrives along with Mathias Frank (previously with IAM Cycling).

Astana Pro Team

(Photo: Astana Pro Team)

Website: http://www.astanaproteam.kz/

Established: 2007

UCI Team Code: AST

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 10

General Manager: Alexandre Vinokourov

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AstanaTeam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AstanaTeam

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proteamastana/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AstanaProTeam

Fabio Aru will target the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España in 2017, and Astana will have high hopes of success for the Italian who triumphed at the Vuelta back in 2015 (having finished second at the Giro that same year). Riders to join include Oscar Gatto, Jesper Hansen, Moreno Moser and Michael Valgren.

BMC Racing Team

(Photo: Tim De Waele/TDWsport.com)

Website: http://www.bmc-switzerland.com/int-en/experience/racing-teams/bmc-racing-team/

Established: 2007

UCI Team Code: BMC

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 4

General Manager: Jim Ochowicz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmcproteam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BMC-Racing-Team/261371855722

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmcproteam/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BMCProTeam

BMC Racing Team's power-packed roster is not short of riders who will aim for headline victories throughout the 2017 season. Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet is a versatile performer who will target one-day races and Grand Tour stage wins while overall Grand Tour contender Richie Porte has emphasised how important the 2017 season is for him. Nicholas Roche arrives from Team Sky, joining other big names like Rohan Dennis and Tejay van Garderen.

Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team

(Photo: Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team)

Website: http://www.slipstreamsports.com/

Established: 2003

UCI Team Code: CDT

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 8

General Manager: Jonathan Vaughters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ride_argyle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rideargyle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rideargyle/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/slipstreamsportsllc

Andrew Talansky and Rigoberto Uran will both give Jonathan Vaughters's team strong options to be competitive in the General Classification at the Grand Tours, while the signing of Sep Vanmarcke enhances their hopes of winning a Monument or a significant one-day race. Hugh Carthy is another notable arrival for the 2017 campaign.

Team Dimension Data

(Photo: Team Dimension Data)

Website: http://africasteam.com/

Established: 2007

UCI Team Code: DDD

General Manager: Doug Ryder

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 18

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamDiData

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamDiData

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamdidata/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCITZ17bUyXc1Oa5L9WI5Rbg

Google +: https://plus.google.com/100880998566193748909/videos

"Africa's Team" enjoyed an excellent year in 2016 with sprinter Mark Cavendish on scintillating form and Steve Cummings pulling off a thrilling stage win at the Tour de France. They will aim to build on that success in 2017 aided by the seasoned lead-out men for Manxman Cavendish like Bernard Eisel and Mark Renshaw. Expect talented Eritrean climber Daniel Teklehaimanot to target KOM points and the famous polka-dot jersey at the Tour de France.

FDJ

(Photo: FDJ)

Website: http://www.equipecyclistefdj.fr/

Established: 1997

UCI Team Code: FDJ

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 11

General Manager: Marc Madiot

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EquipeFDJ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/equipecyclistefdj

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128386747@N07/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/EquipeCyclisteFDJ

Thibaut Pinot traditionally prioritises the Tour de France but the 26-year-old will be targeting the Giro d'Italia this year, while Arnaud Démare will lead the team at the Tour. Démare will also aim to defend his Milan-San Remo title. The team has said that Pinot will also ride the Tour, targeting KOM points and stage victories rather than the General Classification.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo

(Photo: Team Lotto-Jumbo NL)

Website: http://www.teamlottojumbo.nl/

Established: 1984

UCI Team Code: TLJ

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 12

General Manager: Richard Plugge

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LottoJumbo_road

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamLottoNLJumboCycling

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lottonljumbo_road/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYzPindMiPA7J1OuyX3pCdg

Team LottoNL-Jumbo is looking ahead to the new 2017 season "with much ambition". The talented 23-year-old Dylan Groenewegen will aim to sprint to victories in big races, while Steven Kruijswijk will target overall victory at the Giro d'Italia in May. The experienced Robert Gesink will target stage wins at the Tour de France in July.

Lotto Soudal

(Photo: Lotto Soudal)

Website: http://lottosoudal.be/

Established: 1985

UCI Team Code: LTS

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 14

General Manager: Cees Pille

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lotto_soudal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LottoSoudalCyclingTeam?fref=ts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lotto_soudal/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LottoSoudal  

Lotto Soudal enjoyed some significant successes in 2016 with four stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and two at the Tour de France. Andre Greipel alone chalked up three stages wins at the Giro and one at the Tour, and the German rider's straight-line speed is always a worry for his sprint rivals. Frenchman Tony Gallopin (above) is another rider capable of eye-catching performances and big-race victories.

Movistar Team

(Photo: Movistar Team)

Website: http://www.movistarteam.com/

UCI Team Code: MOV

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 1

General Manager: Eusebio Unzué

Twitter: https://twitter.com/movistar_team

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/movistarteam

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/movistar_team/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MovistarTeam

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/movistar-team

Movistar Team was the No 1-ranked outfit across the season in 2016 and will again launch attempts to win the biggest races - with Colombian climber Nairo Quintana potentially riding the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. The evergreen Alejandro Valverde is capable of big victories, as is Winner Anacona.

Team Sky

(Photo: Team Sky)

Website: http://www.teamsky.com/

UCI Team Code: SKY

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 3

General Manager: Sir Dave Brailsford

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamSky

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeamSky

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamsky/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TeamSkyOfficial

Team Sky will focus on making an impact across all forms of racing in 2017 and has the talent in its squad to build on a hugely impressive collection of wins in recent seasons. Already a three-time winner, Chris Froome aims to defend his Tour de France title, with Mikel Landa and Geraint Thomas set for joint team leadership at the Giro d'Italia. Michal Kwiatkowski will target the Spring Classics. Owain Doulll, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Lukasz Wisniowski and Kenny Elissonde all join for the 2017 season.

Trek-Segafredo

 (Photo: Trek-Segafredo)

Website: http://www.treksegafredo.com/

Established: 2011

UCI Team Code: TFS

2016 WorldTour Ranking: 9

General Manager: Luca Guercilena

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrekSegafredo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrekSegafredo/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/treksegafredo

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkO6WeBL6V-p3bt_v5ofQTg

Trek-Segafredo has no shortage of high-profile additions to its 2017 line-up with Spaniard Alberto Contador and German John Degenkolb both coming on board. Contador hopes to recapture his Grand Tour-winning form while Degenkolb will be hungry for wins in the Classics and at the Grand Tours. Jarlinson Pantano, Mattias Brändle and Koen de Kort also feature among the new signings for 2017.