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The reforms have been a hot topic of debate amongst all in cycling for a long time and are being introduced to make cycling more appealing to spectators, broadcasters and sponsors alike.

UCI

NEWS

WORLDTOUR

NEWS
22.11.2014 @ 19:53 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Cyclingnews understands that representatives of teams, riders and race organisers met in Paris last week to discuss and decide on the structure of the WorldTour from 2017 and onwards.

 

The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews that the restructuring process has almost been completed, with a final document to be agreed and signed at the WorldTour seminar next month.

 

The reforms have been a hot topic of debate amongst all in cycling for a long time and are being introduced to make cycling more appealing to spectators, broadcasters and sponsors alike.

 

The Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP), the riders' union Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and the Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC) headed by Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme have all been in contact with the UCI over the reforms, with each looking to see how it will affect them.

 

Whilst the UCI has never published any information about the upcoming reforms, there have been leaks that show huge changes may be on the cards.

 

The number of WorldTour teams and the size in terms of number of riders will decrease and there will be 16 World Tour “A” teams with 22 riders and eight “B” teams, and there is to be a relegation system to determine who remains in the top division. The eight  “B” teams are to act like Pro Continental teams but they are guaranteed 50 WorldTour race days but would need wild cards to secure more. All 24 teams need a feeder team but no women’s team is required.

 

There are also strong rumours of a salary cap to create more equality between the teams. Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Katusha all have budgets almost double the likes of Europcar and Lampre-Merida.

 

One reform that would be very well received would be rules to implement a set protocol for extreme weather to protect riders and maintain their health and safety.

There are also going to be changes to the calendar itself, with no WorldTour races expected to overlap and the Vuelta a Espana may be reduced to two weeks long. Other races may be removed from the WorldTour calendar.

 

There is no way everyone will be satisfied with the outcome, with some race organisers left unhappy if the big stars don’t turn up or worse, if their event is cut from the WorldTour. The CPA aren’t happy that there may only be 22 riders on each team, leaving many pro riders left high and dry without a team. ASO, who organize the Tour de France, also seem unwilling to share any of their market share or stop any of their races.

 

Time is rapidly running out to reach an agreement as the 2015 and 2016 races will ultimately decide who makes it into the top tier of cycling in 2017 and race organisers need time to find sponsors to keep their events going. Either way, not everyone can be pleased but whether they like it or not, cycling is changing in 2017 and it’s a case of adapt or get left behind for all parties involved.

 

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