Meeting on the 10 and 11 June by videoconference, the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) Management Committee took a series of decisions, notably concerning the update of the International Calendar due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the strengthening of the fight against doping.
The UCI Management Committee endorsed decisions taken on 9 June by the Professional Cycling Council – a body comprising representatives of riders (CPA), teams (AIGCP) and organisers (AIOCC) – concerning upcoming races on the 2020 UCI WorldTour calendar. Il Lombardia (Italy) will finally take place on 15 August. The Gree-Tour of Guangxi (China), previously scheduled for 15-20 October, will now take place on 5-10 November. The EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany), which had not yet been allocated a date, will take place next 3 October, while another German race, Eschborn-Frankfurt has been cancelled this year. Two other competitions, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain) and A Travers la Flandre (Belgium) have also been cancelled.
The 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar has also been updated following the change of date for the Tour of Guangxi (China), moved from 20 October to 10 November, and the cancellation of the Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden TTT and the Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden RR (Sweden), as well as the Ladies Tour of Norway.
With regards to track cycling, the 2020 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships which were to take place in Cairo (Egypt) on 16-21 August, have been pushed back one year. They will be organised at the same venue in 2021 (in April, at a date to be confirmed) instead of the UCI Junior Track Worlds in Tel Aviv (Israel), which the organisers have accepted to postpone to 2022. The UCI Management Committee commends this gesture from Israel’s National Federation in favour of its Egyptian counterpart and neighbour, which demonstrates a spirit of solidarity and unity in this period of pandemic that is difficult for all involved in cycling. As a consequence of these changes, the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships will not be organised this year and will not take place in Aigle (Switzerland) in 2022 as originally announced.
Concerning Off-Road disciplines, the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships which were due to take place in Manizales (Colombia) have now been awarded to Elba (Italy). The date of the event will be announced at a later stage.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several UCI World Championships will not be disputed in 2020. Taking this unprecedented situation into account, the UCI Management Committee decided, as an exception, that UCI World Champions who are unable to defend their title this year will be able to wear their rainbow jersey until the next edition of the relevant Worlds.
A certain number of regulatory changes touching several disciplines were approved by the UCI Management Committee. These will be included in a special edition of the UCI Newsletter, which will be published in the coming days and made available on the UCI website.
The UCI Management Committee also approved the UCI’s 2019 Financial Report, which will be published by 30 June together with the full 2019 UCI Annual Report.
With a view to the recommencement of the 2020 cycling season, the UCI Medical Director Professor Xavier Bigard outlined the health protocols for the resumption of racing. These protocols are being finalised by a working group comprising representatives of different members of the cycling family. They include measures to be implemented in three situations, corresponding to different levels of severity of the pandemic; the measures are to be implemented by the event organisers and teams, and cover the period before the events, the actual races and the period following the events. The publication of these protocols will be communicated next week.
Regarding anti-doping, the UCI Management Committee confirmed its decision in principle taken at its previous meeting, on 31 January 2020, to transfer the operational activities of its anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency (ITA) from 1 January 2021. After consultation with cycling’s different families in the phase of formalising the terms of the transfer, the Management Committee approved the contract between the UCI and the ITA. This means that from 1 January 2021, the ITA will take over the mandate currently entrusted to the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).
More specifically, a unit dedicated to cycling within the ITA, composed of former CADF employees, will take care of the implementation of the UCI’s anti-doping programme, with the support and expertise of all departments of the ITA. The UCI is confident that by collaborating with the ITA, cycling will remain at the forefront of the protection of clean athletes and will even reinforce the efficiency of its actions in this domain. It is also important to note that the financial contributions from cycling’s stakeholders will continue to be exclusively used for the sport’s anti-doping programme and that the use of funds will be the subject of regular reports by the current Funding Committee – composed of representatives of the UCI, the AIGCP, the CPA and the AIOCC -, which will continue in this role.
The UCI, ITA and CADF, which have been working together since February, will continue to collaborate to ensure a smooth transition of activities to the ITA. The UCI again thanks the CADF for the work carried out since 2008.
The CADF will communicate at a later stage about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on anti-doping testing activities in the last months and the plan to resume testing with the recommencement of the 2020 sporting programme.
At the end of the two-day meeting, the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “Thanks to very numerous consultations carried out these last weeks with all concerned and to the decision taken by our Management Committee during its two days of meetings, we have moved forward towards a resumption of the 2020 cycling season that will be as smooth as possible. I would like to acknowledge the general spirit of the members of the cycling family which largely contributes to a return to normal that we are all hoping for.
“I am also pleased with the approval of the contract between the UCI and the ITA. This is the last formal step towards the transfer of our anti-doping operational activities to the ITA as of 1st January 2021.”
The next UCI Management Committee meeting will take place on 22-24 September 2020 in Montreux (Switzerland) during the Aigle-Martigny 2020 UCI Road World Championships.