The leading WorldTour and Professional Continental teams have told Cyclingnews they will give constructive support to the modest changes to the UCI WorldTour for 2020. The modifications were announced on Tuesday by UCI president David Lappartient after the teams were given a bigger voice in the running of the new UCI Classics Series that will bring together the biggest one-day races in the sport.
The Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP) defends the interests of the teams and is recognised as key stakeholder in the sport, along with the UCI, the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) riders association, and the race organisers Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes (AIOCC).
These stakeholders have discussed different reforms for many years, with historical influence from Tour de France owner ASO often stifling real change and the creation of a new, more modern, business model.
In the summer the teams were up in arms about proposals to reduce the number of WorldTour teams from 18 to 15 and threatened to circumvent the WorldTour structure and begin negotiations directly with equally distraught race organisers.
However, a final nine-and-a-half-hour UCI Professional Cycling Council meeting on Monday during the World Championships in Innsbruck, led to compromise on all sides, with the UCI backtracking on the idea of reducing the WorldTour to 15 teams. The WorldTour will instead retaining the current number of 18 teams from 2020, with teams awarded three-year licences to provide stability and sponsor security.
AIGCP president and Team Sunweb manager Iwan Spekenbrink represented the teams in the final PCC meeting and posed with Lappartient and other stakeholders as the deal was announced on the president’s Twitter feed.
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