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French race added to UCI’s new ‘ProSeries’ for 2020

Long-simmering tensions between teams, organizers and the UCI continue to play out as a French race moves up in ranking next season

France will see one of its longest-running stage races step up to the UCI’s new “ProSeries” category in 2020, organizers confirmed Friday.

The Boucles de la Mayenne, held each May in the Laval region of western France, will move up from the 2.1 to the newly dubbed “ProSeries” that is part of a larger reorganization of the racing calendar for 2020.

Organizers said WorldTour teams Ag2r-La Mondiale, Groupama-FDJ and Cofidis have already committed to race. Arkéa-Samsic is also expected to race. Thibault Ferasse (Natura4Ever) won the 2019 edition.

The race, set for its 46th edition in 2020, is now France’s sixth-biggest stage race, behind the Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné, and Paris-Nice, and at the same level as the Tour de La Provence and the Four Days of Dunkirk. The race features an opening prologue and three stages.

The move is part of the UCI’s sometimes controversial reorganization of the elite men’s racing calendar. For 2020, the WorldTour remains largely the same, but the second-tier races across Europe are being repacked as the “ProSeries,” which will include several of the ‘.HC’ events and other important races.

There are several ongoing legal squabbles between the UCI and several of cycling’s major players. The UCI is facing official complaints filed with the European Commission from Velon, a trade group representing 11 major teams, as well as the AIGCP and the Italian racing league.

— AFP contributed to this report