The International Cycling Union (UCI) has changed its procedures for licensing Pro Tour teams, changing the criteria for sporting values. In addition, participation in the biological passport programme is now mandatory for all ProTour and Professional Continental teams.
At the ProTour Council meeting Wednesday in Birmingham, UK, the world governign body unified its procedures for registering and licensing the ProTour teams . There can be no more than 18 teams in this division, and teams must first be registered before they can receive a licence.
In issuing a licence, the UCI looks at sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria. The sporting criteria have been changed, and will be based on the values of riders signed for the coming year. These values will come from each rider's results over the previous two seasons. The UCI's statement said, “The values will be calculated on the basis of the UCI World Ranking, Continental Rankings, U23 Ranking, podium places in Grand Tours and victories in the most important events (World Calendar, HC Class, Classes 1 and 2, Continental Championships, National Championships and World Championships). “
The UCI will announce on November 20 of each year the teams which have received ProTour and Professional Continental licences. If any licences are delayed, they will be announced December 10.
In addition, “Participation in the biological passport programme is now mandatory for all first and second division teams. As a result, wild card status will no longer exist.”
As of January 1, 2012, the UCI will also regulate the function of riders' agents, and “aims to establish a list of certified agents in which riders can trust.“
The UCI also plans to increase its supervision in the Junior ranks. There will be a Juniors Conference held in conjunction with the UCI Juniors World Championships this year. Attendance for the 400 juniors will be mandatory, and together with their team staff they will “hear presentations on subjects such as the role of the UCI, the main players in the family of cycling, ethics and the professions of cycling.”
According to the UCI statement, “Its objective will be to reinforce the supervision of young athletes, from their first steps in the world of cycling, in order to promote a healthy, positive culture for the future.”