Meeting from September 24 to 26 in Harrogate, Yorkshire (Great Britain), during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Management Committee endorsed the progress made in the new organisation of road and track cycling, and at the same time supported the Federation’s efforts to promote women in our sport and develop cycling for all.
The members of the UCI Management Committee noted with satisfaction that the reform of track cycling announced earlier in the year was progressing to schedule. Based on the observation that the discipline has considerable development potential that is not sufficiently exploited, the reform is structured around the transformation of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup into the UCI Nations’ Cup, the shift of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships to (northern hemisphere) autumn and the creation of a new and innovative commercial circuit, formatted for television and to conquer new audiences.
The UCI Nations Cup will comprise three rounds, each organised in a different region of the world: one in America, one in Europe or Africa, and one in Asia or Oceania. These rounds will take place from 2021 – as part of the 2020-2021 season -, before the discipline’s UCI World Championships. They will comprise three days of competition, broadcast live. The sporting programme common to each of the three rounds will be made up of the following specialities for men and women: team pursuit, team sprint, individual pursuit, individual sprint, keirin, kilometre (men) / 500m (women), Madison and Omnium. Other events may feature on the programme.
As for the new commercial circuit, this will concentrate on short events, to make it more accessible and attractive to the largest possible audience. It will take place in the period following the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Its first edition will mark the beginning of the 2021-2022 season. The events featured will be the following, for men and women: individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and Scratch. The format of the events will be adapted to become shorter and more dynamic. It is at the end of the preceding UCI World Championships, that the riders to participate at all rounds of the circuit will be selected: the Worlds will identify the 18 best sprinters and the 18 best riders of bunched events for both genders. If the riders feature in several rankings, the vacant places may be awarded through wildcards. The duration of a round of the new circuit will be around two hours.
Further information on the reform of track cycling will be communicated before the end of 2019.
The members of the Management Committee also commended the progress made in the establishment of the UCI Classics Series, an important element of the new organisation of men’s professional road cycling, which from 2020 will bring together all the UCI WorldTour’s one-day races. From the next season, the UCI Classics Series will have its own overall classification, and a common branding will be introduced for all the events featured in the series. As for the introduction of the UCI ProSeries, this took a decisive step forward with the approval of its regulation (soon to be published on the UCI website) and its calendar. The UCI ProSeries will provide increased visibility for men’s and women’s 2nd division events.
On the subject of the promotion of gender equity, the Management Committee approved the content of a “UCI Women in Cycling Best Practice Guide”. Based on a series of model initiatives established by different National Federations from the five continents, this document aims to help them set up their own strategies for the development of women’s cycling. It concentrates mainly on the promotion of women’s cycling, the development of women’s participation (for leisure or in competition), communication with and commitment to younger women, improvement of the elite sector (be it the organisation of races or teams), as well as the promotion of gender equity in governance, administration and technical roles, in order to offer the same opportunities to men and women in different institutions.
In this field, the Management Committee welcomed the implication of the UCI to obtain EDGE certification, the reference standard to evaluate the commitment of companies and organisations to professional parity between men and women. This initiative comes on the heels of a series of other measures taken in domains such as sporting programmes, prize money, the fight against abuse, and equal representation of both genders on different bodies. The UCI, the first international sporting Federation to take this step, has reached the first level of certification (of three) and aims to reach the second level in two years. This will mean an adaptation of the Constitution and new measures within its Administrative Service.
Wishing to further strengthen the UCI’s influence in the development of cycling for all, the Management Committee approved the nomination of Mr Chris Boardman (GBR) as member of the UCI Mass Participation Events / Advocacy Commission. Mr Boardman is currently British Cycling Policy Adviser, Greater Manchester’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, and an influential spokesman for cycling campaigns. A widely-respected former professional road and track cyclist, Olympic Champion and multiple UCI World Champion, he will contribute his precious expertise and bring about an enhanced visibility to help the commission achieve its objectives.
Two guides which will contribute to the promotion of cycling have been produced in the same perspective: the first, “Children’s Cycling Education Programmes” aims to help National Federations set up initiatives for the younger generations; the second, “Cycling for All Side Events – UCI Toolkit for Event Organisers” will support organisers wishing to stage this type of popular event alongside their elite competitions.
During their meeting, the Management Committee members approved the following UCI International Calendars:
- 2020 UCI International Road Calendar (publication on www.uci.org, 9 October)
- 2020 UCI International Mountain Bike Calendar
- 2020 UCI International BMX Calendar
- 2020 UCI International Para-cycling Calendar
- 2020 UCI International Indoor Cycling Calendar
- 2020 UCI International Cycling for All Calendar.
They also ratified the date of the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, awarded last September to the city of Wollongong (Australia): the event will take place from 18 to 25 September 2022.
At the end of the meeting, UCI President David Lappartient declared: “The reform of track cycling and the new organisation of professional road cycling are, along with the development of women’s cycling and cycling for all, the central elements in the process of conquering new audiences and new participants for our sport. I am delighted that these projects are progressing quickly.”
The next UCI Management Committee meeting will take place next February 1 and 2 in Dübendorf, Switzerland, during the 2020 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.