The UCI decides to award a UCI World Champion title in the road race and time trial in the Women Under 23 category

The Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) met from 10 to 12 February in Montreux, Switzerland. This first meeting of the year had been scheduled to take place during the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville (USA) but was moved to the shores of Lake Geneva due to restrictions imposed by the international health situation. It marked the first ordinary meeting of the newly composed UCI Management Committee, following the elections held in September 2021, which saw a significant increase in the number of women members (six women out of 18, including the UCI Vice-President, compared to just one woman member of the Management Committee at the previous elections).

During its meeting, the UCI Management Committee awarded the following UCI World Championships:

2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships This event will take place from 20 to 23 October at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines National Velodrome in Montigny-le-Bretonneux (France), just a few days after the 2022 Tissot UCI Track World Championships being held at the same venue (12 to 16 October).

2023 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon Masters World Championships The event will take place 16 and 17 September in Dwelllingup (Australia), a city situated some 100 kilometres south of Perth, in Western Australia.

The dates of the 2022 and 2024 Urban Cycling World Championships, already awarded to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), have been approved: the competitions will take place from 9 to 13 November 2022 and from 6 to 10 November 2024 respectively. The 2023 edition of the event will be part of the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland (Great Britain), which will unite the UCI Worlds for different disciplines.

Moreover, new dates have been set for the following UCI Worlds:

2022 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau (Canada): 11-14 August;

2022 Junior Track World Championships in Tel Aviv (Israel): 23-27 August;

2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Trento (Italy): 15-18 September;

2022 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships in Barcelona (Spain): 2 October.

As for the 2022 UCI Trials World Youth Games, these will be organised in Wadowice (Poland) from 29 to 31 July.

The venues for the second and third rounds of the 2022 Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup have been confirmed (the dates and venue of the first round of the series had already been communicated last October). The calendar for the 2022 Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup is as follows:

1st round: Glasgow (Great Britain), 21-24 April

2nd round: Milton (Canada), 12-15 May

3rd round: Cali (Colombia), 7-10 July.

The UCI Management Committee also approved the following calendars:

Updated calendar for the 2022 UCI E-Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup

Updated calendar for the 2022 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Cup

2022 UCI Trials World Cup

2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Series

2022-2023 UCI Cyclo-cross International Calendar (including 2022-2023 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup).

These calendars will be published in the dedicated section of the UCI website on 14 February.

Regarding road cycling, the UCI has decided to create a UCI World Champion title in the road race and individual time trial in the Women Under 23 category. This new title will be introduced at the 2022 edition of the UCI Road World Championships, which will take place in Wollongong (Australia). The two titles will be awarded at medal ceremonies during which the UCI World Champions will be presented with a rainbow jersey and the three riders on the podium with medals corresponding to their rank. As a transitional measure for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 UCI Road World Championships, for technical and logistical reasons and due to commitments already made, the women's races will include both the Women Elite and Women Under 23 categories, and two titles will be awarded at the end of the events. From the 2025 edition, which will be held in Kigali (Rwanda), a separate event will be organised for athletes in the Women Under 23 category. The award of a UCI World Champion title in the road race and individual time trial in the Women Under 23 category is a further step towards parity between men and women in terms of sports programmes and is part of the policy implemented by the UCI in this area, which will lead, after an incremental progression, to the full attainment of this key objective for the Federation.

In addition, the qualification system for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong (Australia) was approved and will be published on the UCI website on 14 February.

The development of the snow bike speciality, of which several events featured on the 2019 UCI International Calendar before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, was discussed further to the consultation of the mountain bike (downhill) community and other stakeholders, including potential organisers. The decision was made to organise a UCI World Cup – with likely three or four rounds – from winter 2022-2023, as well as UCI World Championships to conclude the season from 2023. The format of the competition is currently being elaborated. Further information will be provided after the June Management Committee meeting.

An update on the international health situation was provided by the UCI Medical Director, Professor Xavier Bigard. He reiterated that, to ensure safety at cycling events, the UCI’s Covid-19 protocols have been reviewed to take into account the development of the pandemic, in particular the level of vaccine protection within the cycling community and the general population. He noted that since the start of the road season, vaccination coverage within the teams (riders and staff) is close to 100% (97%), which is very good news. The updated health protocol for road cycling events in 2022, currently in force, was published on 21 January.

The latest measures taken by the UCI for a reinforced protection of cycling’s integrity (individuals and competitions) were presented. Among these are the appointment of an Integrity and Education Manager in charge of developing integrity education programmes for the cycling community (in the areas of anti-doping, the prevention of abuse and harassment, and competition manipulation) and of reinforcing processes aiming to protect the integrity of athletes, the creation of a dedicated page on the UCI website, and the launch of a secure whistleblowing platform enabling everybody to report their concerns.

After the three days of meetings the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “With the award of a Women Under 23 UCI World Champion title in the road race and individual time trial at the next UCI Road World Championships, I am delighted that we have taken another step towards parity between men and women in our sport. This innovation, like the progress made in protecting the integrity of cycling and its players, makes our sport more inclusive, and we will continue our work in this respect in the coming years.”

The next meeting of the UCI Management Committee will take place in Arzon (France) from 14 to 16 June 2022.