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The UCI’s New 2020 Calendar Has Too Many Risks

The UCI’s new calendar plan, released on April 15th, was a strong boost of hope for cycling fans – and unquestionably provided a shot in the arm for teams, riders and sponsors. Any glimmer of hope for resuming some kind of season is welcome news, and everyone would certainly welcome a responsibly managed return to racing as soon as the public health situation allows it. And certainly, all stakeholders would agree that the sport desperately needs at least the Tour de France – the event that powers the entire sport – to take place if at all possible. However, there are also considerable risks inherent in the rough plan that the UCI cobbled together earlier this week. Most of the potential risks were already addressed in a previous article, written a day before the UCI announced its latest plans. Although specific dates were proposed for the Tour de France, the rest of the calendar is...

Pay To Play?

Cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and Tour de France race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) recently backtracked on one of the key WorldTour reforms both parties agreed to this year. The number of WorldTour teams in 2017 will remain at 18 instead of the ratified plan to trim it to 17, a move which enables continuity of the Dimension Data team’s WorldTour license next year, and quite possibly, the team’s longer-term survival.  But by agreeing to make this exception, The UCI and ASO have set a dangerous precedent and a further potential setback to the sport’s investment climate. Control over the sport’s economic future is at the heart of the matter here, just as we have described in several previous articles.  The UCI and ASO seem incapable of breaking their long standing stalemate over how the sport should be run, and as a result, their...