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Ben Swift’s UAE Abu Dhabi team gets final WorldTour licence

Teams featuring Sagan and Nibali are the other additions for 2017

The team formerly known as Lampre-Merida has been awarded the 18th and final UCI WorldTour licence for 2017. A two-year licence has been awarded to UAE Abu Dhabi following a review of the UCI’s sporting, financial, administrative and ethical criteria.

It was announced in August that Chinese company TJ Sport Consultation would become Lampre’s new licence holders and soon after that the team signed British rider Ben Swift.

Swift had been with Team Sky since its inception, but faced uncertainty when the team’s prospective backers then pulled out. However, last week it was announced that new sponsors from the UAE had stepped in at the last minute.

UCI moves back into China in deal with country's richest man

The UCI has now released a list of 18 WorldTour teams for 2017 which names the team as UAE Abu Dhabi.

The other new additions to the 2017 WorldTour are Peter Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team (formerly pro continental Bora-Argon18) and Vincenzo Nibali's Bahrain-Merida. They replace the IAM Cycling and Tinkoff teams which have both folded.

Vincenzo Nibali unveils his new Merida Scultura race bike for the 2017 season

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