The first UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) meeting was held on Monday in Brussels, with a number of items of note from the communiqué issued by the UCI.
Composition and mission
Following the UCI Management Committee's decision to amend rules defining the composition of members governing the UCI ProTour in order to guarantee fair representation of all players, the UPTC is therefore now composed of 12 members, appointed as follows:
* Two members designated by the CPA (Association of Professional Cyclists);
* Two members designated by the UCI ProTeams members of the AIGCP (International Association of Professional Cycling Teams); at least one of them must belong to a UCI ProTeam from a country where there is a maximum of two UCI ProTeams;
* Two members designated by holders of a UCI ProTour organiser license, who are members of the AIOCC (International Association of Race Organisers); at least one of them must be an organizer of one-day events exclusively;
* Six members designated by the UCI Management Committee.
The UPTC's mission will be to handle all events registered on the UCI ProTour calendar as well as their participants (UCI ProTeams and riders). With the exception of anti-doping, the UPTC will act autonomously regarding all aspects linked to regulations, calendar and the general organisation of the UCI ProTour.
The main discussion focused on the composition of the 2006-2008 road calendars, with the UPTC deciding that 157 race days planned for the 2005 season represented the maximum ceiling for teams composed of 25-28 riders, and this limit will not be exceeded in the next few years.
The eventual integration of new events among those organisers who have shown interest in joining the UCI ProTour in the future (including organisers from Belgium, England, Scandinavia and Central Europe) will therefore not be achieved without modifying the actual UCI ProTour calendar.
UPTC-Grand Tour relations
According to the statement from the UCI, "Negotiations between representatives from UPTC and the Grands Tour [organisers] were pursued in a serene and constructive atmosphere, which foresees encouraging perspectives towards a definite agreement."
AIGCP-Grand Tour relations
At the meeting, the UPTC was informed that an agreement on participation allowances had been signed between AIGCP and ASO [organiser of the Tour de France] for the 2005-2008 period. According to communiqué, negotiations remain "open" on the issue between AIGCP and the other two organisers, RCS and Unipublic. Also, AIGCP representatives asked the UPTC that in case of a disagreement, the obligation to participate in those events, as mentioned in the UCI ProTour regulations, be lifted. The UPTC agreed to this request.
TV quality control
The UPTC has approved the creation of a commission that will evaluate the quality of television images produced and broadcasted during each UCI ProTour race.
After the controversial finale to last Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem, the UPTC considers the events which occurred during the arrival of the race as "extremely serious". A complete file will be submitted to the UCI ProTour Licenses commission, with the relevant authority to "judge eventual consequences for the license of the organiser", said the statement.