The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced that the team time trial event at the 2016 Road World Championships in Qatar in October will no longer be compulsory for all WorldTour teams in response to protests from squads.
Previously, all WorldTour teams had to take part in the Worlds TTT, but a protest from the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) representing teams has led to a change in the format. Several teams had said that they would boycott the event unless there was a rule change.
The UCI and AIGCP have agreed upon the new regulations governing the event, which is the only discipline in the World Championships that sees riders compete as a trade team rather than national team.
In another change, there will no longer be any WorldTour points allocated to teams finishing highly in the event.
"Acknowledging teams' concerns raised by the AIGCP, the UCI has opted for a non-compulsory format for UCI WorldTeams. As a result, no UCI WorldTour points will be awarded, bringing the Men's Team Time Trial event in line with the rest of the UCI Road World Championship event," said a UCI statement issued on Tuesday.
According to the UCI, a number of WorldTour teams have already signed up to participate in the Worlds TTT, including defending champions BMC Racing.
Ag2r La Mondiale, Astana, Etixx-QuickStep, Movistar, Orica-BikeExchange, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, LottoNL -Jumbo and Team Sky will also all take part. The UCI said that it expects other teams to announce their participation "in the days to come".
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