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by Mark Zalewski
November 10, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Marini wins fourth stage at Tour of Taihu Lake; Dimension Data set to remain in WorldTour as UCI increases maximum number of teams; WorldTour lite? Participation not mandatory for UCI WorldTeams at 10 new WorldTour events; Marianne Vos reunites with team director Jeroen Blijlevens; Nikki Brammeier recounts dealing with concussion after crash; Brailsford, British Cycling to be questioned by Parliament; New RCS Medigroup president considers auctioning Giro TV rights; Lars van der Haar out with leg injury; JLT-Condor signs Brenton Jones; Team CCB International announces roster; British time trial events see more testing, no positives; Amateur cyclist admits to doping; American racer loses bet, gets tattoo of New Zealand; Final stages of Tour of Southland; Snow Bike Festival, Gstaad 2017 trailer; Never have a flat again?
Today’s announcement from the UCI, regarding a new set of WorldTour regulations for the 2017 season and beyond, included a very interesting detail about 10 new events granted WorldTour status in 2017. On the topic of “incorporation of new UCI WorldTour events into the 2017 calendar” and “participation rules for events newly entering the 2017 UCI WorldTour calendar,” the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council agreed that those events should invite all UCI WorldTeams, but that, “participation would be voluntary.”
The addition of 10 new races pushes the WorldTour calendar from 27 events to 37, including overlapping several events. Previously, the UCI had said WorldTeams would no longer be required to ride new WorldTour races, and those new events would only need to invite 10 of the 18 WorldTeams.
What does all this mean? Given that one of the pillars of the WorldTour since its inception was that all WorldTeams would be required to participate in all WorldTour events, it means that these are WorldTour events in name (and WorldTour points) only — fans should not expect to see every WorldTeam participating.
Two events, the RideLondon Classic and the Abu Dhabi Tour, have made arrangements with the 11 teams in the Velon team’s group, to help secure a top-tier field. The UCI also said that the 10 new WorldTour events would be given “three year initial registrations” — essentially a trial period.
So, to summarize, WorldTeams aren’t required to participate, and events aren’t assured they will remain in the WorldTour. Call it “WorldTour lite.”
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