Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix team is looking to move up to the WorldTour – CyclingTips

Alpecin-Fenix, the team that counts the likes of Mathieu van der Poel, Tim Merlier, and Jasper Philipsen among its biggest names, is hoping to move up to WorldTour level next season.

The team announced its application for WorldTour status on Monday in a rest day press conference. The Belgian squad has been racing at the second division – currently known as the ProTeam level – since 2019, back when the squad was still known as Corendon-Circus. As of this coming July, the team will change names again, this time to Alpecin-Deceuninck, which came aboard as a sponsor after the company’s deal with the team now known as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ended after three seasons of title sponsorship.

“We see it as a logical development within our growth,” said Philip Roodhooft, who runs the team alongside his brother Christoph Roodhooft, according to Wielerflits.

“It is also not easy to win the UCI ProTeam ranking every year. We are now the best twice in a row, but this also creates a certain pressure. Two years ago there was already an opportunity to take over a WT license after CCC stopped, but we weren’t ready then. We wanted to grow organically. However, we are now seventh in the UCI Team ranking, based on the last two seasons. We feel the time is right.”

As Roodhooft points out, the squad certainly has the credentials for membership in the sport’s highest racing division, and that has remained true into the 2022 season. At the moment, though the points standings are in a constant state of flux, especially with a Grand Tour in progress, Alpecin-Fenix has racked up more UCI points over the past three seasons than more than half of the teams currently racing at the WorldTour level.

Having made their intentions to move up clear, Alpecin-Fenix stands to gain from the impending round of relegation/promotion that looms for the end of the 2022 season. Other teams, meanwhile, will probably be less thrilled to hear the news. The stated interest in moving up for a highly ranked second-division squad will only increase the pressure on the WorldTour teams at the bottom of the rankings, a group that currently includes the likes of Israel-Premier Tech and Lotto Soudal.

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