The International Cycling Union (UCI) Management Committee has approved a number of reforms for men’s professional road cycling following a meeting during this week’s Road World Championships in Richmond, USA. Among the changes are three year licences for WorldTeams from 2017 and the implementation of 10 rules designed to strengthen anti-doping efforts within each team.
Three-year licences will be granted to a maximum of 18 WorldTeams for the 2017-2019 seasons. The UCI believes that this will encourage investment and lead to greater stability for teams and riders.
As is currently the case, teams will be assessed on ethical, financial, sporting and administrative criteria before being awarded a licence, but changes have been made to the teams’ internal operational requirements.
The UCI will impose 10 rules designed to ensure that all riders are properly supported and supervised as a means of strengthening anti-doping efforts. This cahier des charges was trialled last season and has been further tested this year but will become a condition for a team’s WorldTour licence from 2017.
Later this year, an application process will open for a limited number of new races to be added to the UCI WorldTour from 2017 and another set of standards has been devised for event organisers. Participation rules will be maintained for existing WorldTour races but new rules will be set for any new events.
WorldTeams Rankings will be based on WorldTour events only and there will be changes to other rankings systems too. The plan is for the Individual Rankings to become universal across all events from top to third tier, while the Nations Rankings will be based on the rankings of the top eight riders from each country.
There is also a proposal for individual specialist rankings to be considered in a bid to recognise the top climber, top sprinter, top one-day rider and top stage racer.
UCI President Brian Cookson said:
“I believe that the measures announced today will help to bring greater stability and growth to men’s professional road cycling while also opening the door to greater technological innovation and fan engagement.
“By implementing these key reforms, the UCI is sending a strong signal to cycling fans, broadcasters and commercial partners about the continued improvements in the governance and organisational structures of our sport. This is an important moment for professional cycling and another major step forward as we continue to restore trust and credibility.”