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by Shane Stokes
January 31, 2015
Meeting in Tábor in the Czech Republic in advance of this weekend’s world cyclocross championships, the UCI’s management committee has rubberstamped the holding of the first two rounds of the 2015-2016 World Cup in North America.
The governing body announced the news on Friday, saying that the development was a reflection of the growth of the discipline in what it regards as a vital territory.
“After the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, we look forward to another milestone for this exciting discipline thanks to our first ever World Cup rounds to be held in North America,” said UCI president Brian Cookson.
“Las Vegas will provide a spectacular backdrop to the opening round of the 2015-2016 UCI Cyclocross World Cup. With the second round of the 2015-2016 Cyclocross World Cup taking place in Montreal, Canada, our leading cyclocross series is definitely making a big push in North America.”
The management committee also gave a green light to the introduction of a new women’s youth category at the worlds. Catering to those between 17 and 22 years old, it will be added to the 2016 cyclocross world championships programme, and will thus provide a better bridge for developing riders.
The UCI has announced two further items of importance to women’s race. According to the governing body, the number of women’s teams registered to compete in the road World Cup is currently 38, representing an increase of 22 percent over last year’s figures.
The management committee has also confirmed a continued investment this season in the TV production of those World Cup events, thus building on last year’s jump in coverage.
Meanwhile four months after it was announced that the Tour of Beijing would not continue, the UCI has confirmed that the final decision to close the company running of the event has been made.
Global Cycling Promotion was established by the UCI prior to the first edition of the Tour of Beijing in 2011. At the time it was seen as the first step in a new drive to organise events and to increase the UCI’s revenues.
However efforts to organise additional races didn’t bear fruit and the UCI announced last September that the 2014 Tour of Beijing would be the last. The fourth edition of the race was won by BMC Racing Team rider Philippe Gilbert.
The UCI confirmed Friday that GCP’s dissolution had been approved by its management committee, thus bringing an official end to the project.
Other decisions made by the committee were as follows:
– The approval of Stuttgart as Host City of the 2016 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships.
– The appointment of Mr. Marian Stetina as President of the UCI Track Commission and Mr. Artur Lopes as President of the UCI Anti-Doping Commission. These appointments follow the recent death of Peder Pedersen.
– The granting of provisional membership to the Kosovo Cycling Federation, following the the decision at the 127 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in December 2014 to fully recognise the Kosovo Olympic Committee. That federation will be issued with provisional membership so it can participate in UCI activities, with the final decision on full membership to be considered at the 2015 UCI Congress in September.
– The revamp of the UCI’s visual identity and its events, which will be implemented in partnership with leading European based branding agency SomeOne.
Cookson also pledged that efforts would be carried out to improve the general conditions for the sport worldwide.
“I’m delighted also that the UCI Management Committee reaffirmed the UCI’s renewed focus to work in an advocacy capacity, in particular with host cities, to create tangible legacies around children and cycling, cycling infrastructure and greater road safety awareness,” he stated.