Plantur-Pura finally confirmed that they lodged a Women’s WorldTour application by the deadline on August 31st 2022. This is the first time that confirmation has come from the team that they applied, with a late season charge putting them into pole position for a promotion in status. Only one team will be added to the Women’s WorldTour for 2023, with the maximum amount of teams reached at 15.
“It’s true, we’ve applied for a WorldTour license. We think this fits in with the evolution of the team, as we started already in 2020 with a clear vision to grow year after year, There is only one place left for 2023. At the moment we are only the second continental team in the standings and we can no longer take the first place. So, like all other teams, we depend on others. Besides, the season isn’t over yet. We’ll see where we end up.
Whatever the outcome, it is already clear that we have taken another big step in 2022, and that is the most important thing. We did that thanks to some changes we made after a rather disappointing 2021. But let’s be clear: when the opportunity arises, we grab it with both hands.”Philip Roodhooft
The team is now 300 points ahead of Ceraitizt WNT, who previously looked to be in pole position to join the Women’s WorldTour when I looked at the promotion situation in July. A series of strong results, aided by Belgian Cup races has seen them fly up the rankings and Plantur Pura is now ahead of even Liv Racing Xstra. AG Insurance-NXTG also publicly confirmed they applied for a licence, although they are too far behind in the rankings to be a factor. It is ProCyclingUK’s understanding that Le Col-Wahoo also applied but didn’t go public with their intentions.
The best-ranked Continental team – Valcar-Travel & Service – haven’t put in an application for the Women’s WorldTour due to not being able to find the finances. The team reported that lead sponsor Valcar has no interest in markets outside of Italy so are very much happy with their current situation.
Only a spectacular Tour de Romandie by Ceratizit WNT will stop Plantur-Pura from finishing as the highest-ranked team. Provided they pass the background checks performed by the UCI that confirm bank guarantees, staff numbers and contracts and more, the Belgian team will be certain of their place in the WWT in 2023.