The UCI today confirmed that the team time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria in September will be the last for trade teams.
In September, UCI President David Lappartient indicated that the TTT would take place in Yorkshire in 2019, but would be eliminated from Worlds in 2020.
A UCI press release on Monday stated that the governing body is "reviewing the UCI Road World Championships programme for 2019 in collaboration with the Yorkshire 2019 organising committee to ensure excellent visibility for National Federations and riders" - opening the door to a possible TTT for national teams.
The UCI held national team TTT's from 1962-1994, but they were raced by four riders over 100 kilometres. The event made its return to the World Championships programme in 2012 for both men's and women's trade teams, in addition to bringing in the junior men's and women's individual time trials and road races. Together with the U23, elite men and elite women's road events, the road Worlds programme has stretched out to eight days.
While all of the other events are contested by national teams, the TTT has been raced by professional trade teams since 2012, and has been compulsory for WorldTour squads, placing an extra burden on teams to transport riders, staff and equipment to Worlds. When the UCI awarded the Worlds to Doha, the WorldTour teams threatened to boycott until the UCI relented and removed the requirement for those teams to compete in the TTT. Lotto Soudal estimated their costs to compete in Doha at €40,000 to €50,000.
The UCI says that it has invited all of the WorldTour and top 15 UCI Women's Teams to compete in the last edition of the team time trial in Innsbruck. The top-ranked Pro Continental and Continental Teams will be invited based on their rankings in the Continental circuits.
As the host country, all six of Austria's Continental squads will receive automatic invitations "in a show of appreciation".
The UCI also stated that it will award equal prize money for the men's and women's teams.