It’s no secret that I’m a filthy Euro-loving cycling fan. Come the warmer months, I’ll be polluting this here balog with more two-wheeled junk than you’ll be able to stand. In a few weeks, like many of the international sports, a new cycling season will be upon us when the Santos Tour Down Under kicks off in Australia. And, for only the second time since the formation of the UCI WorldTour (née ProTour) in 2005, there won’t be any major team changes among the 18 elite UCI ProTeams. For a sport that has seen so much upheaval and disarray this century, that’s a welcome change.
Below, I’ve tracked every change from the original 20 UCI ProTeams in 2005 to today’s line-up, with every sponsor change, merger, dissolution, and roster raid in between. Only eight of those original 20 teams remain; only one – Euskaltel Euskadi - has the same name it started with. Imagine a major American league with that kind of turnover.
(Click to embiggen)