Welcome to the Cyclingnews WorldTour bikes guide for 2023: A complete and comprehensive round-up of the bikes and tech used by the men’s and women’s UCI WorldTeams for the upcoming cycling season.
The 2022 season saw the UCI points ranking three-year cycle come to a close with the controversial ranking system drawing teams threatened by WorldTour relegation into a desperate late-season chase for points in an effort to avoid the drop. Israel-Premier Tech and Lotto Soudal (now Lotto-Dstny) were unsuccessful in their attempts and drop down a tier to ProTeam status whilst Alpecin-Deceuninck and Arkéa-Samsic graduate to the WorldTour, though Israel Premier Tech was offered something of a reprieve at the death by the UCI.
The modern pro cycling race season is a long one. It barely feels like the season is over before the new year rolls around and the first races of January are nearly upon us once again. As 2023 begins, we move further away from the troubled times of COVID-19, which means races that haven’t taken place for two years in Australia, such as the Santos Tour Down Under, can be held again in January, kicking off the WorldTour seasons.
WorldTour teams require a range of sponsors and companies to invest in the team and partner with them to achieve their goals. Multiple companies and equipment manufacturers are needed to put together a complete bike package for a professional team, not to mention everything else a WorldTour team needs; this includes cycling kit, nutrition products, helmets, as well as technical sponsors that provide things like tools, turbo trainers, and team cars. These suppliers often change every few years or even each year as budgets are confirmed, relationships change, or teams want to use different equipment to help deliver the best possible performance.
Team sponsorship and partner deals vary. Some will be based on a cash payment alongside equipment supply, whilst companies will just supply a team with the product. There are also full technical partnerships where rider feedback and testing will be used to develop a certain product to improve it for the mainstream public and professional demands. Rarely though are we privy to the details of specific sponsorship agreements.
For example, Specialized’s partnership with QuickStep-AlphaVinyl is much more than just a shipment of bikes. Representatives from the brand are almost always present at winter training camps and big races to help riders and receive feedback. The team are…