UCI releases update on track cycling reforms but still hasn't responded to concerned trade teams

Trade team says the changes could lead to riders leaving the sport

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI has released further details for its track cycling shake-up, but still hasn’t responded to the trade teams that have raised concerns.

Cycling’s international governing body plans to revamp the indoor calendar in the hopes of attracting fans and increasing the appeal amongst the best riders.

As part of the new plans, the UCI will introduce a new World Cup series for national teams, which will exclude trade outfits like Huub-Wattbike and Beat Cycling Club.

Trade teams say riders could leave the sport altogether if the changes are implemented.

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Dutch private team Beat Cycling Club said in a statement: “We are flabbergasted again by the UCI.

“The UCI has not responded to our letters, nor has the organisation made any attempt to involve us and other key stakeholders in its discussions.”

Plans for the track calendar include shifting the season from the winter to the summer and introducing the UCI Track Cycling Nations’ Cup, which will be reserved for national teams only.

The track World Championships will also moved to the autumn and a new TV-friendly race format will be introduced in 2021.

These changes have been opposed by Beat Cycling Club and their British counterparts Huub-Wattbike.

The statement from Beat added: “We are concerned about shifting the calendar to the summer, when track cycling will have to compete for attention against already popular road races. In our opinion track cycling – an indoor sport – can have the greatest impact during the winter months.”

Beat also said they are concerned about the time gap between the end of the new World Cup series and the start of the new commercial series the UCI plans to introduce in 2021.

The team said: “Riders who do not qualify for the Nations’ Cup and are thus excluded from the major tournaments will be out of competition at the highest level for a year and a half. This could lead to many riders simply leaving the sport.”

According to the UCI, the new World Cup format will be cheaper for teams because of the reduced number of rounds, while moving the season aims to encourage road racers to compete in the Worlds.

That UCI added that trade teams, which were introduced as UCI Track Teams in 2004, have steadily declined over the last ten years, with an average of 10 trade teams competing compared with 41 national teams.

The organisation said that barring a few exception cases, the track teams had failed to achieve their objective of paying riders a living wage.

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UCI president David Lappartient said: “With the UCI Track Cycling Nations’ Cup, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the launch of a new series, the track cycling calendar of the future will be clearer and more attractive, with the discipline’s visibility consistently high throughout the year.

“The UCI Nations’ Cup will be the gateway to the UCI World Championships, while these championships will determine the riders who will participate in the new series starting a month later, in a format that is compatible with the requirements of television and new media.

“The reform will ultimately benefit everyone involved in the discipline, from riders to national federations to its various other stakeholders."

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