UCI WorldTour Seminar sets out details of the reform of men’s professional road cycling
Following a two-day meeting held in Barcelona, Spain, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and key stakeholders of men’s professional road cycling have agreed on the details of the reform.
Coming after two years of dialogue and consultation amongst all stakeholders, the seminar brought together representatives of over 25 UCI WorldTour events, the 18 UCI WorldTeams and representatives of riders.
The discussions were centred around the four guiding principles of the reform approved by the UCI Management Committee in September:
- Engaging fans;
- Strengthening the pyramid.
Creating the right conditions – in particular stability – to encourage further investment in the sport, both for growth and for reinforcement of structures to ensure cycling's credibility has shaped the design of the reforms.
With regards to events, the existing calendar will be used as a base but with the possibility of strategic growth to enhance the season. Greater stability will be achieved by registering existing UCI WorldTour events for an initial three year period (2017 to 2019). Events from the tier below will be able to apply to join the UCI WorldTour. The first candidates will be assessed in 2016, and those selected will be incorporated from the 2017 season, also for an initial three-year period, with the possibility of events joining also in subsequent years.
Races wishing to join the UCI WorldTour will be assessed based on a range of criteria to ensure the technical quality of those races as well as their role in the strategic development and promotion of the UCI WorldTour and the stories of the cycling season.
In line with the goal of helping stakeholders work together to create value in the sport, the Professional Calendar Working Group will be formed. Administered by the UCI and comprising two representatives each from the AIGCP (teams) and AIOCC (event organisers), plus one observer representing the riders, this new group will maximise cooperation between stakeholders and advise the Professional Cycling Council on the UCI WorldTour calendar.
A similar approach has been taken with regards to teams, with sustainability ensured with the granting of three-year licences to a maximum of 18 WorldTeams from 2017 onwards. Licences will be reviewed on an annual basis based on ethical, financial, administrative and organisational criteria (the Team Cahier des Charges), with sporting performance assessed over the three year period.
The seminar also welcomed the new visual identity of the UCI WorldTour, which will be fully rolled out in 2017. This branding helps bring together the efforts of all stakeholders in promoting the sport, and reflects its global appeal. .
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “I am convinced that this reform will enable us to showcase the best of men’s professional road racing. Road cycling’s strengths lie in its variety, its season-long narrative, its accessibility to fans and its global nature. The UCI WorldTour needs to embrace these strengths and effectively promote them while celebrating the richness of the season and the performances of its actors.
“This reform respects existing rights, ensures stability for organisers and teams and encourages stakeholders to work together, ultimately reinforcing the credibility and integrity of cycling. We all need to feel responsible for the image of our sport. All of us need to realise that it is only by making our sport more sustainable, that we will create new opportunities for all. I am pleased with the level of collaboration that has been demonstrated over the past two years and I am now looking forward to the implementation of these changes in the same spirit.”
The 2016 UCI WorldTour will start on 19 January 2016 in Adelaide with the Santos Tour Down Under (Australia), while the maiden edition of the UCI Women’s WorldTour will kick-off on 5 March with the Strade Bianche (Italy). All information is available on www.uci.ch.