The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) wishes to make a statement in regard to information circulating in media on the possible merger between the UCI WorldTeams Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step.
The UCI points out that any such operation must comply with the procedures and provisions set out in the UCI Regulations which, in particular, make it possible to ensure compliance with the contractual provisions for all personnel of the teams in question (riders, but also team management and other staff such as doctors, mechanics, sports assistants, drivers, etc.), which is of prime importance to the UCI.
As a reminder, the two teams hold UCI WorldTour licences, which were renewed for a three-year period (2023-2025) at the end of the registration procedure last year by the UCI Licence Commission, a body independent of the UCI. Nevertheless, in accordance with the UCI Regulations, this licence may be re-evaluated at any time. In this regard, if the continuity of one of the teams could not be guaranteed for the 2024 season, the number of UCI WorldTeams would be 17 for the 2024 and 2025 seasons. As a result, the number of UCI ProTeams that are automatically invited to UCI WorldTour events would increase, in accordance with the provisions of article 2.1.007bis of the UCI Regulations.
The UCI would also like to clarify that in order to participate in events on the UCI Road International Calendar, UCI professional teams (UCI Women's WorldTeams, UCI WorldTeams and UCI ProTeams) must register each year as part of a procedure to check compliance with administrative, financial and ethical criteria. For UCI Women's WorldTeams and UCI WorldTeams, the organisational criterion and, possibly, the sporting criterion are also taken into consideration.
The UCI is assisted in this task by an external auditor, currently PwC, which is responsible for verifying the financial and contractual elements. Decisions on the award or renewal of UCI Women's WorldTour and UCI WorldTour licences are taken by the UCI Licence Commission.
This procedure enables the UCI to ensure that the teams comply with the regulations, particularly as regards their continuity, compliance with staff contracts (riders and support staff) and the plausibility of their funding over a season.
Any significant change in a team's situation must be duly reported during the upcoming registration procedure so it can be assessed, in accordance with the UCI Regulations.
On 19 October, the UCI will publish an initial press release containing the list of teams that have submitted the essential information (cf. Art. 2.13.087; 2.15.069bis; 2.16.014bis of the UCI Regulations). This press release will open the possibility for riders belonging to teams not included on the list to join another team, without giving prior notice or paying compensation, in accordance with the provisions contained in the standard contract.
Following this press release, the registration procedure will continue without any communication on its progress until the issue of the final press release announcing the teams registered for the 2024 season (publication scheduled for 12 December 2023).
The full list of teams will be published on the UCI website on 19 December.