Cycling News Flash, August 18, 2008
Edited by Bjorn Haake
UCI announces launch of 'world calendar'
New ranking to combine ProTour races and Monuments
By Shane Stokes
The UCI announced a new world calendar, hoping to set differences with race organisers aside
Photo ©: Mia Sullivan
The long-running political battle between the UCI and the Grand Tour
organisers appears to be moving closer to an end following the announcement
on Monday of a new "UCI World Calendar" system.
According to the UCI, this will combine the existing ProTour races plus the
monument events organised by the Grand Tour organisers. It will come into
effect from next season and will feature both individual and team
Under the proposed terms, participation in the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France
will be governed by the agreement signed by the teams and ASO on 18 June.
From 2011 onwards, the classifications of the UCI World Calendar would
confer the right to participate, with either seventeen teams of 9 riders or
eighteen teams of eight taking part.
The announcement of the new system was made on Monday morning in Beijing and
followed several weeks of discussions between the UCI and EPA (Editions
Philippe Amaury, the owner of ASO and Société du Tour de France).
"I am confident of the fact that this plan will give rise to a fruitful and
constructive collaboration that is in the best interests of professional
road cycling," said UCI President Pat McQuaid. "In this regard, and with the
respect of the UCI's democratic structures, I know that I can rely on the
indispensable contribution of all our stakeholders to relaunch and maintain
a dialogue on the future of professional cycling."
The Irishman thanked the IOC President Jacques Rogge for the attention that
he paid to the situation in the world of cycling. IOC member Jean-Claude
Killy was also highlighted for his role as a mediator. McQuaid said that the
agreement should satisfy all of the players in professional cycling and
expressed his desire that the political conflict of recent years would
finally come to an end.
Under the terms of the announcement, the UCI states that it recognises ASO’s
exclusive rights of ownership and operation as well as those of all other
organisers. At the same time, it claims that, "in more general terms, these
modifications are in line with the reform of road cycling launched by the
UCI in 2005, in that they favour the development of the sport of cycling to
the benefit of all National Federations around the world."
ASO and the other Grand Tour organisers are yet to respond, so it remains to
be seen if they will fully accept the terms of the proposal. If so, it would
mean that political stability would finally return to the sport. "The
unanimous backing of this plan will also allow the parties involved to put
an end to the various proceedings under way," states a UCI press release
issued after the announcement was made. "This will allow the complete
reintegration of the French Cycling Federation within the auspices of the
It is as yet uncertain if teams will be required to retain their ProTour
licences to take part in all the races. This and other details will become
clearer in time; more on today’s announcement will follow later.
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