Meeting from September 25 to 27 in Innsbruck, Austria, during the UCI Road World Championships, the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today approved the new organisation of men’s professional road cycling. The day before, it had been unanimously approved by members of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) - a body composed of representatives of teams, riders and organisers - following a major consultation of all concerned parties.
The new organisation of men’s professional road cycling will be introduced gradually from the 2019 season. Its aim is to strengthen the position of cycling among the world’s biggest professional sports. In particular, it will improve the narrative of the season and the stability of the system, encourage new partners to come on board, improve cycling’s global visibility and support its development at all levels.
The UCI Road International Calendar will now comprise three divisions: UCI WorldTour, UCI ProSeries and UCI Continental Circuits.From 2020, the UCI WorldTour will include the three Grand Tours, the other stage races, the one-day races brought together in a new UCI Classics Series, the details of which will be defined with the stakeholders, – featuring the five Monuments and potentially some 15 top tier events – and the other one-day races, for a total of around 185 days of racing. All these events will be guaranteed for three years.
The new UCI ProSeries, to be launched in 2020, will be made up of a selection of current HC and Class 1 events, with precise specifications, as well as races of high strategic importance for the development of cycling. Finally, the UCI Continental Circuits will remain the cornerstones of our sport on a continental level.
As far as the teams are concerned, these will continue to be separated into three divisions: UCI WorldTeams, UCI ProTeams (formerly UCI Professional Continental Teams) and UCI Continental Teams. As is already the case, there will be 18 UCI WorldTeams (composed of 27 to 30 riders) with a licence for three years, and an unlimited number of UCI ProTeams and UCI Continental Teams.
From 2019, the only ranking to be calculated at international level will be the UCI World Ranking (the UCI WorldTour Ranking will no longer exist). The UCI will publish a global individual UCI World Ranking. In addition, it will publish a UCI World Ranking for nations and, a new concept, a UCI World Ranking for teams, taking into account the results of the 10 best riders of each team in all three divisions across all races on the UCI Road International Calendar. The individual, teams and nations rankings will continue to be published for the five UCI Continental Circuits.
From the end of the 2019 season, then every three years, 18 teams will receive a UCI WorldTour licence based on five criteria: ethical, administrative, financial, organisational and sporting. These criteria enable a comparison to be made between UCI WorldTeams and new candidates for UCI WorldTeam status. The open nature of the system and the acknowledgement of sporting merit are therefore assured. It is a question of combining the necessary stability with an open system.
The participation rules will also take into account the importance of sporting criteria and the open system. The two best UCI ProTeams will therefore have the right to participate in the Grand Tours; as a consequence, the number of wildcards distributed by organisers will be reduced. Similarly, the three best UCI ProTeams will have the right to participate in events in the UCI Classics Series and in other events of the UCI WorldTour.
Some important details still need to be finalised for the reform to be fully in place for 1 January 2020. This will be done during 2019 following the continuation of constructive discussions between stakeholders with a view to their approval by the PCC and the UCI Management Committee.
David Lappartient, UCI President, declared: “I am very happy that all together, we have reached a favourable consensus for all stakeholders of men’s professional road cycling: teams, riders, organisers, sponsors and fans alike. We now have a solid basis for continuing the development of our sport so that it becomes one of the major professional sports in the world, THE sport of the 21st century. I warmly thank everyone involved, Iwan Spekenbrink, President of the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP), Gianni Bugno, President of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), and Christian Prudhomme, President of the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC), for jointly carrying through this vision of professional cycling and overcoming potential differences. Together, we are stronger.”
More detailed information about the new organisation of men’s professional road cycling will be communicated at a later date.