British Continental women’s team Lifeplus-Wahoo is gearing up for an aim to secure ProTeam status in 2025 as part of the new tier system being introduced in women’s cycling. This move will mark the team’s tenth anniversary and represents a pivotal development in their history, considering the setbacks they have faced, including the loss of key sponsors.

The UCI, recognising the burgeoning interest in women’s cycling, has decided to introduce the second professional division a year earlier than planned. Speaking to Cycling Weekly Lifeplus-Wahoo’s general manager, Tom Varney, expressed confidence in the team’s readiness for this step up. “That’s the aim for us,” Varney explained. “It’ll be our tenth year next year also, and I think we deserve to be at that level.”

Babette van der Wolf on the podium at Antwerp Port Epic

The new ProTeam tier will serve as an intermediary stage between Continental and WorldTour levels, requiring teams to register with the UCI and meet specific criteria including a bank guarantee and minimum salary commitments for riders. The specifics of these requirements are still under discussion, but the intent is clear: to create a more structured and competitive environment that mirrors the advances seen in other women’s sports in the UK.

Lifeplus-Wahoo, one of four Continental teams worldwide – and the only British team – seeking more information on this transition, is still recovering from previous sponsorship losses. These setbacks led to significant changes in their roster but the team is now slowly regaining its former strength.

Varney also highlighted the lack of British teams in the women’s WorldTour, underscoring a gap that Lifeplus-Wahoo aims to fill. “I think the UK riders, and the juniors that we see coming up, deserve something to aim for,” he stated, indicating a broader vision for elevating the domestic cycling scene to international standards.

Despite not being invited to this year’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, a disappointment for the team after participating in its first two editions, Lifeplus-Wahoo remains focused on upcoming competitions. They are set to participate in the Ford RideLondon Classique this weekend and the Tour of Britain Women next month, alongside other British Continental teams.