World cycling chiefs confirmed Saturday that the 18 WorldTour leading teams will compete at the inaugural Tour of Beijing in October after a “truce” had been called amid threat of a boycott.
Some teams had threatened to boycott the event, the latest to join the International Cycling Union’s WorldTour calendar, because they are against UCI proposals to phase out the two-way radios used throughout the peloton.
After speaking with the president of the AIGCP, the teams’ international representative association, a UCI spokesman told AFP that all 18 teams would be in attendance at the Chinese event on October 5-9.
“All 18 teams have confirmed their participation in the Tour of Beijing in accordance with the UCI WorldTour’s rules and the UCI is satisfied with the situation,” the UCI spokesman told AFP.
Asked if any agreement had been made with regard to the use of radios, the UCI added: “Between the UCI and the teams talks on a variety of issues are still ongoing, including the issue of the radios. We are working in collaboration.”
But the spokesman added: “But these issues have nothing to do with the confirmation we have had about the team’s taking part in Beijing.”
The Tour of Beijing will be organized jointly by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and ASO (Amaury Sports Organization), organizers of the Tour de France and other marquee events, and will be held annually until 2014.
The five-day stage race will start with a 11.3km time trial at Olympic Park. Taking into account the physical condition of the peloton at the tail end of the season, the remaining stages will be short but hilly.
The UCI has proposed banning the use of race radios in all professional races as of 2012 in a bid to make races more exciting and less predictable.
Several top teams had expressed their opposition, threatening to boycott Beijing, because they believe race radios help enormously in a sport where crashes and other mishaps are regular occurrences.