UCI to be taken to court by French league over WorldTour reforms

The Ligue Nationale du Cyclisme (LNC) is concerned that the WorldTour reforms would impact on its races

Dissatisfaction over the UCI‘s planned WorldTour reforms has reached a new level, with the Ligue Nationale du Cyclisme (LNC) in France ready to initiate court action against the proposals.

The LNC is the governing body for professional cycling in France and it is concerned that the addition of 10 new races to the WorldTour calendar will adversely affect its own competitions and races.

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French professional teams, including WorldTour outfits such as FDJ and AG2R, take part in races in their own country as part of their commitment to sponsors and riders’ wish to partake.

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But the LNC believe that if WorldTour teams are obliged to race in every race at the top-level of cycling, they will be unable to compete in lower-ranked French races and competitions, such as the Coupe de France.

A statement in September from the LNC outlined their intentions to seek explanation from the UCI over the proposed reforms.

Despite sending two letters to the sport’s governing body, they have only received one response, which they said was “somewhat terse and irrelevant. Not only [was] no explanation [sic] given on the development of [the] WT calendar [in] 2017, but again, the UCI refers to the PCC [Professional Cycling Council] for further explanation.

“In summary, the UCI will not consider the request of the LNC.”

As a result, the LNC have announced that it will initiate judicial proceedings through the Court of Arbitration of Sport against the UCI.

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It says it is going to such lengths for “the interest of French cycling, its riders, their teams, the organisers but also in that of the entire international cycling. The globalisation of our sport does not go through the deletion of the pyramidal system that promises the establishment of [the] WT 2017 calendar.”

RideLondon Classic will become the first British race to be include in the WorldTour calendar, but there has been widespread disapproval to the reforms. The Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionals rejected the proposals in July.