A boycott of the team time trial at next month's UCI Road World Championships in Qatar has been averted after the UCI and the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) came to an agreement. A total of 10 WorldTour teams have so far confirmed that they will take part in the event on the opening day of competition in Doha, including defending champions BMC Racing.
In the past, 200 points had been available for the WorldTour team classification, but this year - crucially for the teams looking for the final few WorldTour points - there will be none available.
In August, the AIGCP announced that all 18 of the WorldTour teams would skip the UCI-organised competition in protest of what it called an 'abuse of power' by the governing body. However, Cyclingnews broke the news last weekend that a decision had been reached so that some of the teams would make the trip to Qatar.
"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) have agreed on a number of adjustments to the 2016 UCI Road World Championships Men's Team Time Trial format, ensuring a maximum of UCI WorldTeams will take part in the event to be held in just a few weeks in Doha, Qatar," a statement from the UCI read.
"Acknowledging teams' concerns raised by the AIGCP, the UCI has opted for a non-compulsory format for UCI WorldTeams. As a result, no UCI WorldTour points will be awarded, bringing the Men's Team Time Trial event in line with the rest of the UCI Road World Championship events. It was also agreed that the model of the event shall be revised for future editions in collaboration with the AIGCP."
As well as BMC Racing, AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing Team, Etixx – Quick Step, Movistar Team, Orica-Bikeexchange, Team Giant – Alpecin, Team Katusha, Team Lotto NL – Jumbo and Team Sky are all expected to compete, as well as the invited Pro Continental teams. In the statement, the UCI says that more teams are expected to race in the event.
Cyclingnews understands that the UCI is offering each of the teams around €2,000 to help fund their trip to the Middle East, addressing the AIGCP's principal concern that, unlike other WorldTour races, teams have to participate entirely at their own expense.
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