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by Mark Zalewski
January 14, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: UCI amends WorldTour rules for teams, events; Callum Skinner: ‘TUEs distracting from issue of doping’; Kiwi Dion Smith replaces Westra on Wanty Groupe-Gobert; Contador on retirement: ‘race to race and year to year to decide my future’; Many top Dutch riders skipping Amstel Gold Race; Boeckmans honoured at Vuelta presentation; Mathieu van der Poel to miss Sunday’s World Cup; Tickets flying out the door for Cyclocross Worlds; Study finds ‘weekend warriors’ have similar mortality risk as more frequent exercisers; Video: Axeon Hagens Berman team camp; Video: Lossless TV.
The UCI added 10 new events to the WorldTour calendar this year, including the Amgen Tour of California and Prudential RideLondon. One condition for these new events was that WorldTour teams were not required to participate, a change from existing WorldTour events like the Santos Tour Down Under or Paris-Roubaix where all WorldTour teams must attend. However, this week the UCI amended the rule for the new events, adding a stipulation that failure for the new events to secure participation of at least 10 WorldTour teams could result in the event losing its WorldTour status.
“Events registered on the UCI WorldTour calendar for the first time in 2017 and thereafter shall ensure the participation of a minimum of 10 UCI WorldTeams in their events,” the UCI said. “In case of failure by one of these events to ensure the participation of 10 UCI WorldTeams during two consecutive editions, the registration of the said event shall be withdrawn from the UCI WorldTour calendar.”
This puts a burden on the new events to attract WorldTour teams that are not obligated to attend the event, particularly races that are not within Europe or conflict with other long-standing events on the calendar.
In addition to the rules for events, the UCI ammended rules for WorldTour teams. For 2018 licenses will only last one year, to align with the two-year licenses issued this season and with the change that Professional Cycling Council will determine which teams get a license from 2019 onwards. The ammendment also includes a promotion/relegation aspect, with the lowest ranked WorldTour team judged to have not fulfilled the ‘sporting criteria’ aspect of a WorldTour license. In a twist, existing teams will have the option to be ranked by their current roster or their future roster, based on who they have signed.
“In this respect, a team that has participated in the season just completed will have the choice of being evaluated either on the basis of its riders from the season just completed or on riders contracted for the following season,” the UCI said. “New teams can only be evaluated on the basis of riders contracted for the following season. Only riders whose contract for the following season has been submitted to the auditors by 20 October at the latest shall be considered in the said evaluation.”