The UCI management committee is set to convene in Lausanne on June 2-3 with the WorldTour reforms and the relationships with Tour de France organisers ASO high on their agenda.
The Management Committee meet at several points in the season and their two-day meetings this week will also see them discuss the dates and format of the WorldTour races in 2017. The dates of major races are typically announced around the UCI Road World Championships in the Autumn but Cyclingnews has learnt that the announcement will be made much earlier with a Professional Cycling Council meeting scheduled for later in the June.
The Management Committee will also discuss several other areas, including the continued debate over rider safety, concerns over the track at the Rio Olympic velodrome, and the growth of several disciplines.
However, it's the WorldTour race reform that will be crucial with only a finite amount of time between a proposed plan and any reforms that would be in place for January next year and the start of the road season.
As a third party, ASO will not be present at the Management Committee, but their clashes with the UCI over proposed reforms has been a significant hurdle for the governing body.
The ASO and the race organisers' association AIOCC (Association Internationale des Organisateurs de Courses Cyclistes) voted against the reforms at the decisive Professional Cycling Council late last year and have pushed back against the changes. In November 2015 AIOCC said it was against the implementation of the reforms, calling on the UCI to return to an original project presented in 2014 and re-open talks over the future of professional cycling.
Back in June of last ASO threatened to remove their races from the UCI's WorldTour if certain demands over a possible relegation system were not implemented. This would potentially leave races such as the Tour de France and the Criterium du Dauphine at HC rankings, rather than at WorldTour level. Of course, those rankings are devised not by the organisers but the governing body.
Other major races organisers, RCS, Flanders Classic and the Tour de Suisse, all voted in favour of the reforms.
The UCI are still hopeful of reaching a consensus in which the ASO remain within the WorldTour for 2017, and the reforms go ahead.
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.