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This page on wikipedia lists the UCI Pro teams and has a column listing their Country. It is sourced from this page on the UCI official site. What significance does this hold? Clearly each team doesn't have an obligation to only include riders from that country.

What is the source of the association between teams and countries?

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Historical, IMO. Technically they are national teams but these days the sponsors insist on naming rights, and as you note, any requirement for nationality has long gone. Same way as technically they all ride equivalent bicycles and it's a contest of man against man. –  Mσᶎ Jul 18 '13 at 3:44
    
I think if you look beyond the richest teams there is generally a pretty strong relationship between a team and its country (or in some cases, region). For example, you look at some of the teams riding the Tour de France at the moment: teams like AG2R, Cofidis, Sojasun, Europcar, FDJ - they're all French both in terms of their registered country and the vast majority of their riders. Similarly Belkin (formerly Rabo) and the Netherlands, Euskaltel and the Basque region, Lotto and Belgium. Its really only the top few teams that can be considered "multinational". –  PeteH Jul 19 '13 at 9:33
    
@PeteH Sky is pretty Brittish. Movistar pretty Spanish. Saxo Bank is Danish I think, and it pretty multinational, but still has a lot of Danish riders. –  Bernhard Jul 19 '13 at 15:04
    
@Bernhard - you could certainly argue that Movistar have strong Spanish links, but Sky have some notable non-Brits (EBH, Porte, Kiryienka) and Saxo have no Danes at all (in their TdF team). But the teams I mentioned were just meant as examples, didn't intend for it to be an exclusive list. –  PeteH Jul 19 '13 at 15:13
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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The association is based on where the license holder of the team is located. Garmin Sharp is listed as USA since they are based in the US. Omega-Pharma (OPQS) has their license held by Esperanza bvba, which is based out of Belgium so the team is listed as being from Belgium, etc.

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For the UCI WorldTour the nationality doesn't matter too much, there the choice is made by the location of the comany behind it. Which does this with facors like

  • where are the offices
  • what taxation is in the country
  • which sponsors can they attract from that country (regitering in Cuba might be nice but you get no U.S.-based sponsors ;-) etc.)
  • Emplyoment laws relevant for drivers
  • certainly more

In lower racing series, like UCI Professional continental teams the home of the team has impacts on access to specific races or prizes.

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