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Teams rebel against UCI Classics Series ahead of its launch next year

Pro teams’ association says teams’ and riders’ rights aren’t being recognised

The AIGCP (the association of men’s professional road cycling teams) has rejected proposals for the UCI Classics Series which is due to begin next season. The organisation says current plans for the competition don’t deliver the necessary reforms that were promised by the UCI and so teams and riders refuse to be associated with it.

From 2020, the various UCI WorldTour one-day races are set to be grouped together as the UCI Classics Series. The competition will have its own classification and common branding.

The plan was first announced last year and the UCI confirmed it was going ahead earlier this week.

However, the AIGCP was clearly expecting greater consultation and a more innovative and revolutionary business plan.

A spokesperson said: "AIGCP’s support for the 2020 Reform approved in September 2018 was conditional on setting up the envisaged competition of one-day races (“Classics Series”) on a consensus basis with all stakeholders, including the teams with their riders, and on the basis of an inclusive business plan and ownership model where the rights of all parties would be recognised and respected.

"Such Classics Series was meant to be a stepping stone towards the true reform that men’s professional road cycling needs: to change the current broken economic model which over the years has done much harm to the sport, not only the teams and their riders, but also to many race organisers.

"However, the teams lament that no substantial progress has been made in this regard. In fact, the teams’ and riders’ rights are neither being recognised nor respected and the current approach and proposed regulatory framework do not deliver on the promised structure which would finally enable the stakeholders to realise the economic change that this sport desperately needs.

"Accordingly, the AIGCP has formally informed the UCI of its rejection of the Classics Series as it is being implemented by the UCI and that no team or contracted rider may be associated with any such Classics Series without the express consent of that team."

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