Today, at its first ordinary meeting since David Lappartient was elected President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the UCI Management Committee met in Valkenburg (Netherlands), alongside the 2018 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, and took some important decisions concerning the years ahead.
With regards to road cycling, the UCI Management Committee has approved, from 2018, a new “Support/TV” Commissaire at each of the three Grand Tours (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta Ciclista a España) and the five Monuments (Milano-Sanremo, Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour des Flandres, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia) on the UCI WorldTour, as well as at the UCI Road World Championships.
The role of this extra Commissaire will be to follow the race live via the different TV images available, thus supporting the members of the Commissaires' Panel who are out on the course.
It was also agreed that the time gap protocol for stages expected to finish in bunch sprints, as trialled at the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France last year, will from 2018 be extended to all races on the UCI International Calendar.
This protocol increases the time gap required for a split from one second to three seconds. This revision is in response to the increased levels of stress and danger brought about by bunch sprints, whilst still protecting the sporting integrity of the sprint and the stage. The decision on whether to activate this protocol will be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the race organiser and the President of the Commissaires' Panel, after studying the profile of the stage, as well as the level of the teams and the number of riders involved.
Speaking about these initial decisions, UCI President David Lappartient said: “I am very happy to have met with my Management Committee members again. The central part they play in the decision-making process is extremely precious, and as far as I am concerned, it is essential. I would like to publicly thank them for their commitment.
“Rider safety and consistency between events on our International Calendar are two of the UCI's main priorities. These two measures will reinforce both of those aims. The extra Commissaire will provide vital support to the other Commissaires in carrying out their roles, and the protocol was successfully trialled last year.
“Supporting organisers is another of the UCI's priorities. With this in mind, I am delighted that the Management Committee has agreed to my post-election pledge to keep the fees levied on road race organisers for registering their event on the UCI International Calendar at the same level as last year, rather than increasing them.”
With regards to the fight against technological fraud, the UCI Management Committee has approved the proposals explored over the past few weeks that aim to strengthen the effectiveness of race checks. A detailed plan of action will be unveiled at a press conference on 21st March.
The decision to integrate e-mountain bike into the UCI has also been approved by the Management Committee, in response to growing public interest in this new form of cycling. Discussions will be held over the coming year with National Federations and representatives of the cycling industry, with a view to creating an initial set of regulations for this discipline from 2019. However, it is already the intention that electric starting systems will only be triggered once leg movement has begun, and will cut out when leg movement stops. This electric assistance must also cease when the bike reaches 25 km/h, and the engine must not exceed 250 watts.
The Czech rider Katerina Nash – recently elected President of the UCI Athletes' Commission – was co-opted onto the Management Committee, and will remain there until the UCI Congress in 2021. It was also decided that the concept of making the President of the Athletes' Commission a full member of the Management Committee, thus offering the athletes' representatives the same rights as all other members, be put to a vote at the UCI Congress in Innsbruck-Tyrol (Austria).
The UCI Management Committee also allocated the following World Championships:
- 2020 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships: Milton (Canada)
This event will take place at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, near Toronto. The Milton veledrome, which is also the training centre for the Canadian national track team, was built for the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2015. It recently hosted the third round of the 2017/2018 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup: a first for Canada, a country that is playing a major role in developing and promoting para-cycling.
- 2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Ostend (Belgium)
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will return to Belgium – the discipline's flagship nation – after a five-year absence. Situated on the North Sea coast, in the Flanders region of the country, Ostend hosted the Belgian National Cyclo-cross Championships in 2017. The route for the 2021 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will, in part, use the city's famous beach that is always popular with tourists.
- 2021 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Manizales (Colombia)
Manizales is located in central Colombia, at an altitude of around 2,000 metres. Athletes will tackle demanding mountainous routes along the tracks used in the Leyenda del Dorado, a famous Class 1 (S1) event on the UCI International Calendar. These will be the first mountain bike World Championships held in South America, and the third UCI World Championships to be held in Colombia.
- 2022 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Haderslev (Denmark)
Twelve months after visiting the Colombian hills, the event will take place against an entirely different backdrop in Haderslev, in the Southern Denmark region, not far from the German border. This time the riders will face a route that combines forest paths, country lanes and city-centre forays.
The following Calendars have also been approved and published on www.uci.org:
- 2018/2019 UCI Cyclo-cross International Calendar, including the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup calendar
- 2018 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup Calendar powered by citymountainbike.com
- 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle International Calendar
- 2018 UCI Trials World Cup Calendar
- 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track International Calendar
Finally, the Management Committee ratified the appointment of Ms Amina Lanaya as UCI Director General.
By taking this decision, the Management Committee confirms its desire to ensure stability within the UCI administration by appointing an individual who is known for her experience in the Federation, her expertise and knowledge of cycling, which are already recognised both within the UCI and more widely among the cycling family.
A qualified legal practitioner, Ms Lanaya first worked for international law firms in Paris, then Switzerland, before joining the UCI more than 12 years ago. After working in the Legal Service, she was appointed deputy Director General of the UCI in 2013.
Before the meeting of the UCI Management Committee, several UCI bodies met in Valkenburg. The Cycling Economy and Marketing Commission; the members appointed by the Management Committee to the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) as well as the Presidents of the PCC and the UCI; the UCI Women’s WorldTour working group; the Finances Commssion – Audit Committee; the Equipment and fight against technological fraud Commission.
The next UCI Management Committee meeting will be held on 18th-21st June 2018 in Arzon (France). It will seek to approve the UCI's Agenda 2022. Designed to be a roadmap for the next four years, this Agenda will contain concrete recommendations concerning the UCI's objectives in the five main areas of the 'Our Passion' manifesto proposed by David Lappartient during his presidential campaign.
UCI President David Lappartient has these closing remarks: “I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken over the past few months by the members of the Management Committee, who were convened following my election. The meeting in Valkenburg allowed us to take decisions that move cycling in the right direction, and that provide a solid base to develop a roadmap for the years ahead. I am delighted that several important elements of my election manifesto are soon to be fulfilled, particularly concerning the fight against technological fraud.
“I would also like to say that I am very pleased to welcome Katerina Nash – the first female President of the UCI Athletes' Commission – and I am very proud that she has joined the Management Committee. I hope that the next Congress will see her accepted as a full member. Speaking of the growing influence of women in the management of our sport, I would also like to acknowledge the deserved appointment of Amina Lanaya to the position of Director General.
“Finally, on a sporting note, I wish the very best of luck to all the riders taking part in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Valkenburg this weekend.”