The UCI has postponed the launch of the new Classics Series, which was supposed to involve a general classification for one-day races.
The decision will give cycling’s governing body time to build this series alongside race organisers, teams and riders, with the UCI saying the principle idea had been agreed by all stakeholders in September 2018.
The UCI say the series will provide additional revenues that will be distributed between race organisers and teams, and that they will continue to talk to the parties involved to launch the new system as quickly as possible, they hope in 2021.
The postponement comes after the Association of Men’s Professional Road Cycling Teams (AIGCP) opposed the innovation, saying riders will not take part in the classification.
The announcement of the postponement, made during the 2019 UCI Women’s WorldTour and UCI WorldTour seminar in Montreux, Switzerland, included UCI President David Lappartient calling for unity between stakeholders to “work together to build the future of our sport”.
The AIGCP, which represents men’s pro teams, said it had rejected the proposed series, adding it was a step in the wrong direction to reforming the “current broken economic model” of cycling.
A statement from the association said: “The AIGCP (the association of men’s professional road cycling teams) hereby confirms that it has informed the UCI that it rejects the current approach and proposed regulatory framework for setting up the anticipated UCI Classics Series as part of the 2020 Reform.
“Such Classics Series was meant to be a stepping stone towards the true reform that men’s professional road cycling needs: to change the current broken economic model which over the years has done much harm to the sport, not only the teams and their riders, but also to many race organisers.
“However, the teams lament that no substantial progress has been made in this regard.”
Last September, the UCI announced a major reorganisation of men’s professional cycling, starting in 2019, which would include changing the structure of the three divisions, reform of the criteria for WorldTour teams and the introduction of new league tables.
The reforms were designed to “strengthen the position of cycling among the world’s biggest professional sports” and “improve the narrative of the season and the stability of the system,” with the AIGCP supporting the initial announcement.