The UCI announces measures aimed at promoting balanced participation in the events on the UCI Cyclo-cross International Calendar

On 17 November, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced that it was launching a review of athlete participation in the rounds of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and other events on the UCI Cyclo-cross International Calendar, with the aim of ensuring balanced athlete participation in the different categories of cyclo-cross events.

With this in mind, several measures – approved by the UCI Management Committee at its recent meeting in Prague, Czechia, from 2 to 4 February – will come into force on 1st March.

From now on, riders – men and women – in the top 20 of the latest UCI Elite Cyclo-cross Ranking will no longer be able to take part in national events. This measure aims to ensure consistency and a clear structure between the national calendars and the UCI International Calendar by encouraging the best events, i.e. those capable of attracting the best athletes, to register at international level.

At UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup events, for all categories, the first two rows at the start will be reserved for the highest ranked riders in the overall ranking of the series. The aim of this measure is to reward the riders who achieve the best performances in the most competitive events and to ensure a balanced situation for specialists of the discipline and riders who compete across multiple disciplines.

A "protected event" status has been introduced for events of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. This status will be granted to a maximum of 50% of UCI World Cup events and only when the event is of particular importance for the international development of cyclo-cross. The granting of this status will enable the UCI to refuse registration on the UCI International Calendar of a race that wishes to take place the day before or on the day of a "protected event". The introduction of this special status is intended to promote the internationalisation of cyclo-cross and to defend the prevalence of sporting interest when it comes to participation in cyclo-cross events. It also supports the solidarity mechanisms developed thanks to the UCI World Cup, the aim of which is to increase the number of nations taking part in cyclo-cross events.

Finally, the obligation imposed on UCI Cyclo-cross Teams and UCI Professional Cyclo-cross Teams to take part in UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup events has been reinforced. From now on, UCI Cyclo-cross Teams will be obliged to participate with at least one rider - in the Women Elite or Men Elite category - in a minimum of five rounds of the UCI World Cup; UCI Professional Cyclo-cross Teams will be obliged to participate with at least three riders - in the Women Elite or Men Elite category - in all rounds of the UCI World Cup.

The aim of all these measures is an overall strengthening of cyclo-cross by ensuring a coherent structure between the discipline’s various events. The UCI will continue to study the situation as well as relevant measures to support the development of cyclo-cross.