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Brian Cookson: The reform of professional cycling is vital for the future of our sport

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Brian Cookson

Brian Cookson
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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UCI president Brian Cookson

UCI president Brian Cookson
(Image credit: briancookson.org)
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The UCI rolled out a new logo in 2015

The UCI rolled out a new logo in 2015
(Image credit: UCI)
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The WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour logos for 2016

The WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour logos for 2016
(Image credit: UCI)
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UCI president Brian Cookson was on hand for the podium presentations

UCI president Brian Cookson was on hand for the podium presentations
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Christian Prudhomme stands next to the map of the 2016 Tour de France route

Christian Prudhomme stands next to the map of the 2016 Tour de France route
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Key stakeholders representing every part of professional cycling will gather in Barcelona on Monday for a two-day seminar to discuss the details of the UCI WorldTour reforms due to be introduced in 2017.

The event has been described as a turning point in the future of professional cycling as the sport tries to make changes that will help it develop globally and grow financially. 

The planned reforms have been discussed at length and approved in a vote by the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council and the UCI Management Committee. However Tour de France organiser ASO has come out against them, setting up a potential conflict and power struggle, if they refuse to follow the democratic process and the accept the reform proposals.

In this exclusive comment, UCI president Brian Cookson gives his opinion on why the reforms to professional cycling are so important. Cyclingnews offered ASO an opportunity to express their opinion on the reforms but Yann Le Moenner –the CEO of ASO, preferred not to comment.

 

The reform of professional cycling is vital for the future of our sport

By Brian Cookson

On Monday and Tuesday I will be in Barcelona for the UCI WorldTour Seminar to discuss the details of the planned reform of professional cycling. I believe the reform of professional cycling is vital for the future of our sport. At the UCI we’ve put a lot of extra time into the reforms, and the UCI Management Committee is unanimously behind the plans. Now there’s a lot of work to do on the details and on their implementation.

I’m not expecting a showdown with anyone in Barcelona; I’m expecting a sensible, adult discussion. I think the UCI’s position is pretty clear. We’ve got to develop and improve the economy of men’s professional cycling. We’ve got to do more to restore the credibility of our sport after years of damage; we’ve got to find a way of globalising the sport while at the same time protecting our heritage and looking after what makes road cycling so special. We’ve also got to find ways to further engage with our fans so people have more opportunities to experience our sport in all its glory.