The reform of men’s elite road cycling was the focus of the 2014 UCI WorldTour seminar held on December 4th and 5th in Montreux, Switzerland. In an atmosphere of open discussion among the 80 participants, a number of important topics were addressed by the stakeholders.
The UCI President Brian Cookson opened the seminar with a focus on the important steps made by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), in partnership with the entire cycling family, to restore the credibility of the sport, an essential element to ensure the economic and commercial stability and growth that is targeted.
The reform process seeks to assist in this in a number of ways, one of which is the implementation of a new standard of operational guidelines for teams (the “cahier des charges”) to ensure that all riders are properly supported and supervised. In 2014 already eight teams conducted a trial implementation of these standards.
Implementation of strict organizational standards for event organisers will begin in the 2015 season, and seeks to build upon the considerable investment made by organisers in assuring the highest quality of event, whether from TV to security to the fan experience.
The seminar also reflected on the increased momentum in the use of new technology in 2014. The UCI worked with a number of events over the season to agree case by case rule changes to facilitate on-board cameras, taking fans inside the peloton. An innovation made possible by close cooperation between teams and organisers. Tests were also done by the UCI at the Road World Championships in Ponferrada, not only for on-board cameras but also for geo-location, and the seminar participants shared plans to bring this further dimension of technology to races in the 2015 season. The UCI will be revising the applicable process and regulations to facilitate the integration of these technological innovations.
Under the leadership of UCI President Brian Cookson, the reform process of men’s elite road cycling has been structured as an ongoing system of discussion and improvement. Delegates reaffirmed their commitment to a reform that would enhance the appeal of the cycling season to fans, and put in place structures that can help the sustainability of the overall cycling pyramid. Continuing with the core reform principles, all participants agreed that there are still a number of elements that need further consultation and that no decision should be rushed.
Helping the business of cycling is a key objective of the reform process. Cycling’s popularity and global reach has never been higher, and the reform seeks to capitalise on this great position.
When closing the seminar, UCI President Brian Cookson said, “In the calm of the off season it has been a great opportunity to reflect on a fabulous season, and also to spend time with representatives of the UCI WorldTour teams and organisers to discuss the many important issues and opportunities ahead of us. Road cycling has a wonderful, rich and long heritage, and it is important not to lose sight of that as we embrace the future. I’m very pleased with the level of co-operation now happening across the sport, which promises well for the 2015 season and beyond.”
Alfonso Galilea, AIGCP President added, “Professional road teams are excited by the opportunities ahead. Of course, we take our responsibilities seriously to ensure a credible sport, and in combination with the organizational standards and the investments we are making, we intend to deliver on this commitment. Building from this base, we look forward to the coming season where we can deepen our partnerships in the sport to connect more closely with our many fans.”
Christian Prudhomme, AIOCC President commented, “As event owners and organisers, we understand the importance of working ceaselessly to ensure cycling’s reputation as a credible sport is fully restored, and we are delighted to be working in partnership to achieve great progress on this front. Looking back on the 2014 season, we saw early signs of the possibilities of a closer co-operation between the sport’s stakeholders in developing the appeal of our sport to a great audience, and capturing the deep and ever-growing love of cycling across the world.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.