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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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Racing schedule:

This is World Road Championships week. Yesterday we had the Junior Men's and Elite Women's individual time trials.

Today is the Elite Men's Elite (professional) time trial championship. It'll be 53 kilometers (32.9 miles).

UCI institutes reforms to men's pro racing

Here's the UCI's news release:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is delighted to announce that its Management Committee has approved the key principles for the reform of men’s professional road cycling which have been discussed at the meeting of the Professional Cycling Council during this week’s UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, USA.

Following more than two years of dialogue and consultation with stakeholders, the reforms will be part of the key governance changes implemented at the UCI by President Brian Cookson since his election in 2013. The reform will provide additional support and a platform for sustainable growth for the teams and other stakeholders, building on the successes achieved so far in restoring credibility in the sport.

Brian Cookson

UCI boss Brian Cookson

As part of the changes, three year UCI WorldTour licences will be granted to a maximum of 18 UCI WorldTeams for the 2017-2019 seasons. It is hoped that this will encourage investment leading to increased stability in team structures. Licences will be granted based on ethical, financial, sporting, administrative and organisational criteria.

To further strengthen team integrity and anti-doping measures, the UCI has also developed the team’s internal operational requirements (known as the “Cahier des Charges”) which will be mandatory for all UCI WorldTeams from 2017.

The Team’s Cahier des Charges centres on ten main rules designed to ensure that all riders are properly supported and supervised. Already trialled in 2014, further testing of the system is taking place this season and next in advance of its mandatory application as a licence condition. This knowledge and experience will be used also for implementation of an appropriate set of organisational criteria for teams in the next tier below UCI WorldTeams in 2018.

Building on the strengths of the existing UCI WorldTour calendar, a limited number of new races will also be added to the UCI WorldTour from 2017, with an application process opening later in 2015. It is hoped that the addition of new high quality events will help the UCI WorldTour re-inforce its global profile as the elite series of the sport.

New and existing UCI WordTour events and races which apply to join the series will be assessed against strict organisational standards by event organisers (the Organiser’s Cahier des Charges), ensuring the best events are included in the tour giving the calendar a more robust structure. These standards – which have begun to be implemented this season – seek to build on the considerable investment made by organisers in delivering the highest quality events.

The current participation rules will be maintained for existing UCI WorldTour events but new rules will be set for new events seeking to join the UCI WorldTour to encourage growth and globalisation.

A reform of the rankings for men’s professional road cycling has also been taken forward with the Individual Rankings becoming universal across all events from the top to the third tier. The Nations Rankings will also be universal based on the Individual Rankings of the top eight riders from each country. The UCI WorldTeams Rankings will be based on UCI WorldTour events only, while the second-tier team rankings will be based on UCI WorldTour and second-tier events. Details of the reformed system will be finalised in advance of the 2016 season.

It was also agreed that individual specialist rankings would be considered to reward the top climber, top sprinter, top one-day rider and top stage racer to further increase fan and media engagement.

UCI President Brian Cookson said: “These are important changes that will help to further enhance men’s professional road cycling and aide its global growth and development. I would like to thank all stakeholders for their positive and constructive approach to this reform process. I believe that the measures announced today will help to bring greater stability and growth to men’s professional road cycling while also opening the door to greater technological innovation and fan engagement.

“By implementing these key reforms, the UCI is sending a strong signal to cycling fans, broadcasters and commercial partners about the continued improvements in the governance and organisational structures of our sport. This is an important moment for professional cycling and another major step forward as we continue to restore trust and credibility.”

BMC sending 10 riders to World's

Santa Rosa, California - Ten riders from the BMC Racing Team will participate in the UCI world road and time trial championships this week in Richmond, Virginia.

Rohan Dennis (Australia), Silvan Dillier and Stefan Küng (both of Switzerland) and Taylor Phinney (United States) will represent their respective countries in Wednesday's 53-kilometer time trial. All four were part of the BMC Racing Team's gold medal-winning team time trial squad Sunday.

Silvan Dillier

Silvan Dillier having a good day at this year's Arctic Tour of Norway

Phinney and Dillier will also compete in Sunday's 16-lap, 261.4-km road race, along with Brent Bookwalter (United States), Jempy Drucker (Luxembourg), Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Daniel Oss and Manuel Quinziato (both of Italy) and Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium). Gilbert won the 2012 world road race title while Oss and Quinziato joined Dennis, Dillier, Küng and Phinney on the BMC Racing Team's victorious team time trial squad.

Additionally, BMC Racing Team stagiaire Tom Bohli (Switzerland) will compete in the Under 23 road race Saturday. Bohli rode for the BMC Development Team earlier this year.

"All of these riders will be fine representatives for their country," BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "We are proud to have so many riders going for more gold this week."

Cult Energy's World's news release

This Friday 25th of September, Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s Michael Carbel joins the U23 Danish national squad to compete in the World Championships in Richmond, USA.

Michael Carbel

Michael Carbel

The race covers a distance of 162.2 kilometers on a relatively flat but technical and cobbled course over ten laps. Yesterday, the Danish national squad secured a gold medal in the U23 time trial World Championships with Mads Würtz and the team is hoping for more.

Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s Michael Carbel says: “It’s a fairly easy course but you shouldn’t never underestimate the roughness of the World Championships as it is the most prestigious race on the calendar and everyone wants to perform here. I think we have a very strong team although I’m feeling sorry for Mads Pedersen who’s still out with an injury and wont compete. However, the team spirit of the group is fantastic and especially after the time trial gold medal was conquered by Mads. We have several cards to play and I just hope that I’ll be able to reach the finale. If we get this far in the race, anything can happen,” concludes Michael Carbel.

Tomorrow, Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s Rasmus Quaade participates in the Elite time trial World Championships.

LottoNL-Jumbo's race plans

Team LottoNL-Jumbo plans to make a flying start to the Circuit Franco Belge-Eurométropole. Sports Director Erik Dekker will take a number of ambitious time trial specialists to the stage race that starts with a 7.7-kilometre prologue.

“The prologue is our first objective,” Dekker said. “The boys are very motivated. A number of them have specifically asked to start here because they believe they can do well in the prologue. I definitely think we have riders who can perform.”

Dekker knows the importance of a good start. “We often see bunch prints in Franco Belge, but much depends on the weather. We want to start well in the prologue, which is the first step to a good overall. The rest will follow after that.”

Martijn Keizer is one of the riders who wanted to ride Franco Belge. After his crash in the Vuelta a España time trial, the Dutchman is seriously motivated.

“I want to take advantage of my Vuelta shape one final time and go all-in. I tried to keep my rhythm by racing. In Franco Belge, I want to compete for the victory. By all means, I want to finish in the top five.”

In the run-up to Franco Belge, Dekker will bring an almost similar squad to the start of the Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde on Wednesday, September 23.

Team line-up Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde: Tom Van Asbroeck , Rick Flens, Moreno Hofland, Martijn Keizer, Barry Markus, Maarten Wynants,  Twan Castelijns & Koen Bouwman.

Team line-up Circuit Franco Belge-Eurométropole: Tom van Asbroeck, Rick Flens, Moreno Hofland, Martijn Keizer, Mike Teunissen, Maarten Wynants, Twan Castelijns & Steven Lammertink.

Sports Director: Erik Dekker

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary