2014 Giro to start on a Friday, include three rest days
The Professional Cycling Council (PCC), meeting in Florence, Italy, during the UCI Road Cycling World Championships, has agreed to submit working group proposals for major reforms of professional cycling to the UCI Management Committee.
"The working group proposals follow on from consultations via the ‘common ground’ of 2011 and 2012, as well as the Deloitte UCI Stakeholder Consultation, A Bright Future for Cycling, carried out earlier this year," read a statement from the UCI. "The project also takes into account the recommendations of an ongoing study carried out by the Institute of Sports Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), in cooperation with the UCI and professional teams, which analysed the organisation and culture in pro cycling teams."
Regarding the 2014 season, the PCC has approved changes to the Giro d'Italia. Based on a request from the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP), the Giro d'Italia will add a third rest day, placed immediately after the transfer from Ireland (where the first three Giro stages will be contested) to Italy. The Giro will also start on a Friday, May 9, instead of the originally planned Saturday, May 10 start.
The PCC has also approved the 2014 WorldTour calendar with the only information released thus far stating that the final race of the WorldTour next year will be the Tour of Beijing, taking place October 10-14.
Further reforms, pending approval by the UCI Management Committee, were proposed by the PCC which will begin to take effect in 2015 and be completed by 2020 in a progressive implementation plan.
Among the reforms proposed were "a First and Second Division, with fewer riders in each team and fewer racing days each year for the riders," said the UCI. "Further the current annual sporting assessment would be replaced by an automatic promotion/relegation mechanism and the season would be ideally scheduled to take place during a more compact period of the year (between February and October).
"Among the main principles, the races would be selected based on a number of criteria, including that they did not overlap; there would be with racing every weekend (in particular on Sundays) and there would be six weeks of continuous competition for the Spring classics."
The final proposal from the PCC, scheduled to come to fruition in 2015, is the creation of a UCI-Rider relations manager position which stemmed from the Deloitte Stakeholder Consultation report recommendations.