Men's professional road cycling: Changes for 2020

Dec 21, 2018, 18:26 PM

The new structure of men’s professional road cycling will be phased in over the 2019 season and will come fully into effect on 1 January 2020. Its main elements and changes are detailed below.

 Calendar: three divisions of events

 The UCI Road International Calendar will be made up of the following three divisions: UCI WorldTour, UCI ProSeries and UCI Continental Circuits. 

As of 2020, a UCI Classics Series will be introduced within the UCI WorldTour, which will continue to comprise 38 one-day and stage races, including the three Grand Tours (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España), totalling some 185 racing days. Around 20 one-day races, among the most prestigious or organised in strategic countries, will make up the UCI Classics Series.

The current HC class will disappear and be replaced by a new division of races called the UCI ProSeries. This will be composed of current HC and Class 1 events that will adhere to a demanding list of specifications.

There will be no change for the five existing UCI Continental Circuits, which will remain the cornerstones of our sport in their respective regions. 

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UCI WorldTour events will be appointed for a period of three years, a timespan which will offer organisers the stability they need. The organisers undertake to contribute to the development of cycling, for example by supporting a programme established be the National Federation, to the organisation of races for other categories (Women, Under 23, Juniors) or to UCI World Cycling Centre activities.

Three types of teams

As with the men’s UCI Road International Calendar, the teams will also be separated into three divisions (as is the case today): UCI WorldTeams, UCI ProTeams (currently known as UCI Professional Continental Teams) and UCI Continental Teams.

Eighteen teams will possess a UCI WorldTeam licence awarded for a period of three years after a full evaluation of all the candidate teams (and not only the teams already in possession of a licence) according to ethical, administrative, financial and organisational criteria. The teams will need to fulfil these criteria every year. The sporting criterion will be evaluated at the end of a three-year period. The UCI WorldTeams will comprise 27 to 30 professional riders.

The number of UCI ProTeams (20 to 30 professional riders) and UCI Continental Teams (10 to 16 professional riders) will not be limited (but contingent upon the compliance with regulatory requirements specific to each division).

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It should be noted that UCI WorldTeams and UCI ProTeams will continue to have the possibility to take on neo-professional and trainee riders.

Like the organisers of UCI WorldTour races, UCI WorldTeams will be required to contribute to the development of cycling (UCI ProTeams can also do this, though it is not obligatory). The options available are for example to support initiatives such as a programme set up by a National Federation, the organisation of races for other categories (Women, Under 23, Juniors) or UCI World Cycling Centre activities.

What types of teams will take part in UCI WorldTour events?

Twenty-two teams of eight riders will take part in each of the three Grand Tours:

  • the 18 UCI WorldTeams must take part;
  • the top two UCI ProTeams (according to the previous season’s final UCI World Ranking for teams) must be invited; invitations that are declined will be redistributed by the organisers;
  • two other UCI ProTeams will be invited by the organisers (wildcards). This number may increase if one or both of the two top UCI ProTeams declines/decline its/their right to participate.

Grand Tours:

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A total of 21 to 25 teams of seven riders will take part in the events that make up the UCI Classics Series:

  • the 18 UCI WorldTeams, which must take part or be invited depending on the current participation rules; for events not concerned by the rule of obligatory participation of the 18 UCI WorldTeams, the participation of a minimum number of UCI WorldTeams will be guaranteed;
  • the top three UCI ProTeams (based on the previous season’s final UCI World Ranking for teams) must be invited;
  • a maximum of four UCI ProTeams will be invited by the organisers, however organisers are under no obligation to hand out wildcards.

UCI Classics Series:

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A total of 20 to 25 teams of seven riders will take part in the other stage races in the UCI WorldTour:

  • the 18 UCI WorldTeams, which must take part or be invited depending on the current participation rules; for events not concerned by the rule of obligatory participation of the 18 UCI WorldTeams, the participation of a minimum number of UCI WorldTeams will be guaranteed;
  • the top two UCI ProTeams (based on the previous season’s final UCI World Ranking for teams) must be invited;
  • a maximum of five UCI ProTeams will be invited by the organisers, however organisers are under no obligation to hand out wildcards.

Other UCI WorldTour stage races:

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A total of 21 to 25 teams of seven riders will take part in the other one-day races in the UCI WorldTour:

  • the 18 UCI WorldTeams, which must take part or be invited depending on the current participation rules; for events not concerned by the rule of obligatory participation of the 18 UCI WorldTeams, the participation of a minimum number of UCI WorldTeams will be guaranteed;
  • the top three UCI ProTeams (based on the previous season’s final UCI World Ranking for teams) must be invited;
  • a maximum of four UCI ProTeams will be invited by the organisers, however organisers are under no obligation to hand out wildcards.

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Simplification of the rankings

 

As of 2019, the only ranking calculated on an international level will be the UCI World Ranking (the UCI WorldTour Ranking will disappear). The UCI World Ranking will take into account all the races on the UCI Road International Calendar. It will include the following:

  • the individual UCI World Ranking, taking into account all international events; in addition, for a clearer view of performances, this ranking will also be divided into two sub-rankings, one using points obtained in one-day races only and the other using points obtained in stage races only;
  • The teams UCI World Ranking, which will take into account all international events; it will be calculated on the basis of the 10 top riders of each team; once again there will also be a ranking based on one-day races only and another based on stage races only.
  • the nations UCI World Ranking;

The UCI Continental Rankings will continue to exist in their current format. 

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