Press release: UCI looks to simplify WorldTour calendar, team selection process

The UCI Management Committee acknowledged proposals to simplify its WorldTour calendar and team selection process, beginning in 2015

(UCI press release): The UCI Management Committee met in Bergen, Norway, for a second day on Friday and considered, among other matters, a KPMG pre-analysis study on governance which had been established in parallel to the Stakeholders’ consultation.

The report proposed the creation of two task forces, comprising members of the Management Committee, supported by UCI executives, an initiative supported by the Management Committee.

The first task force will review and formalize the UCI’s vision and strategy; the second make proposals for the UCI’s governance structure, as well as rules to put in place to implement and control the strategy.

Following KPMG recommendations, the UCI Management Committee also instructed the UCI administration to deepen its transparency and information provision, and provide a “dashboard” for the committee going forward.

In the meeting, the Management Committee also acknowledged the proposals of the Professional Cycling Council for the strategic direction of reforms to professional cycling.

These proposals came after a long period of analysis beginning with a common ground working group in 2011, bringing together all stakeholders and also including the wide-ranging consultation process held in the first half of 2013.

The reforms are grouped under five strategic directions including:

• A reduction in the number of races at the top level to rationalize the calendar in terms of logistics and competition days – as well as to try to group races by race type, geography and climate.
• Opportunities to develop new events in new regions, or to fill potential gaps in the calendar.
• Revision of the team selection process to create a competitive UCI WorldTour with simpler rules for fans. At the same time, the aim would be to create a more robust structure for teams that fail to qualify.
• Professionalize the team structures to ensure clean and viable teams, fulfilling objective ethical criteria and with appropriate supervision of riders.
• Segment the UCI WorldTour calendar into just 2 or 3 levels, with increased homogeneity between circuits and top level riders competing in the top races.

The aim will be to implement the reforms to professional cycling beginning in 2015 and to be completed by 2020. The Management Committee validated the general principle and gave approval for the work to continue.

The Management Committee was also presented with the preliminary findings of a new study, commissioned by the UCI, which analyzed professional teams and developed a framework for an updated doping prevention policy.

The study, carried out by the Institute of Sports Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), in cooperation with UCI and professional teams, built an analytical model of the organization and culture within a professional cycling team. Derived from this model, the study provided a tool to measure the doping risk within a team, or for individual riders and proposed a new professionalized team structure which would influence a rider’s ‘ecosystem’ within professional cycling.