Following a two-day meeting held in Doha, Qatar, in conjunction with the 2016 UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Management Committee today agreed important regulation changes relating to track cycling, BMX Supercross and mountain bike.
Since early 2016, an extensive consultation was organised to review the track cycling discipline. The review focused on the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and Track Cycling World Championships, with a view to improving the competition narrative and creating even more spectator-friendly racing. Under the direction of the UCI Track Commission, a subcommittee of diverse experts was created to make recommendations which led to the following regulation changes agreed today by the UCI Management Committee.
The Madison will be introduced for Women at the UCI World Championships, bringing perfect parity between the men’s and the women’s events. In addition, the rule for a gained lap has been amended to be the same as in the Points Race (+ 20 points) and with points awarded every ten laps. Coherence between the Madison and the Points Race will make both easier to understand for spectators. Points awarded in the final sprint have been doubled in both the Madison and Points Race in order to keep the race in play until the final sprint.
The Omnium will be extensively changed with the new competition format being four bunch events (scratch, tempo race, elimination and points race) which will all be held on the same day. Dropping the timed events means the Omnium becomes a pure endurance event, bringing better balance to the track programme.
The new Sprint format allows more riders to participate (28 instead of 24), and a slightly shorter tournament with the four athletes clocking the best qualifying times skipping the 1/16 finals and going straight to the 1/8 finals.
For the Kilometre and 500 metre Time Trial, two athletes will ride simultaneously on the track during qualifications, and finals will be held individually in the evening.
In the Keirin, the sprint distance will be increased to 3 laps to make the race more tactical and the rules about overtaking the pacer have also been clarified.
To make the Team Pursuit more compact, two teams will now ride simultaneously on the track in the qualifying heats, and there will be no more finals for 5th & 6th places and 7th & 8th places.
A first round has been added to the Team Sprint to bring it in line with the format of the Olympic Games and similar to the current Team Pursuit format. This will bring more consistency and help fans to understand the discipline. Rules on disqualification and false start have also been clarified.
A new format for the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup was also approved by the UCI Management Committee. The event will be easier for fans to understand with direct elimination in the first round, and no more time trials. Extensive minimum standards for BMX tracks and associated facilities have been added to the UCI BMX Regulations to improve the consistency of rider’ experience and safety between events.
The UCI Management Committee also heard a report on the inaugural season of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup which is due to finish at the end of the month in Chengdu, China after other events were held in Montpellier (France), Osijek (Croatia), Denver (USA) and Edmonton (Canada). All members were pleased to hear about the tremendous success of these first events in terms of both participation and public attendance.
In order to better protect the integrity of the course and therefore improve the quality of competition, the UCI Management Committee agreed the following changes for the Downhill events of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano:
• To reduce the number of riders by increasing the number of points required to participate (from 30 to 40 points);
• To reduce the number of riders participating in the final (15 Women Elite and 20 Juniors);
• To have a separate DHI Women Junior event.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “While it is important that we safeguard the essence of our cycling disciplines, we also need to be brave and embrace change in order to give our sport real meaning to those who are watching live or on screens across the world. The changes announced today show that we are moving with the times to ensure that our disciplines are presented in the most compelling way possible, and are rooted in the desire to attract and inspire even more fans into cycling.”
The UCI Management Committee also decided to recommence the trial of disc brakes in road events. This decision comes after months of discussions between representatives of teams, riders and the industry, and following confirmation from the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) that they support the trial.
Following extensive examination of the equipment and a detailed safety report, it has been agreed with manufacturers that the trial will restart on January 1st 2017 exclusively with discs which should be modified to ensure the perimeter edge of the brake rotor does not contain any 90 degree edges but are smoothed or chamfered.
The trial will be closely monitored and formally reviewed every month.
The next meeting of the UCI Management Committee will take place in Luxembourg (LUX) on January 27th, 2017 during the 2017 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.