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New General Classification for the Classics to be introduced from next year

UCI keen on changes that will see collective GC for one-day races. However, riders say no thanks

Joseph Delves
3 Oct 2019

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced its renewed intent to introduce a General Classification system covering one-day races and beginning next year. After a meeting at the recent World Championships in Harrogate, the organisation announced it is pressing ahead with its plans for the Classics Series, despite objections from the teams involved.

'The establishment of the UCI Classics Series… will bring together all the UCI WorldTour’s one-day races,' explained a spokesperson.

'From next season, the UCI Classics Series will have its own overall classification, and common branding will be introduced for all the events featured in the series.'

Uniting 21 one-day races, including all five Monuments, the series will run in tandem with their current standalone classifications. The changes will also mandate that race organisers invite every WorldTour level team to compete, cutting down the ability of events to maintain their own local character.

Squabbles about how to divide the revenue generated by races have become an increasing issue in recent years. Aiming to partly address the precarious position of the teams which have little stake in the events in which they compete, the Association of Men’s Professional Road Cycling Teams (AIGCP) has nevertheless come out against the move.

'The AIGCP rejects the current approach and proposed regulatory framework for setting up the anticipated UCI Classics Series,' said the organisation in a statement.

'Our support was conditional on setting up the envisaged competition of one-day races on a consensus basis with all stakeholders, and on the basis of an inclusive business plan and ownership model. The Classics Series was meant to be a stepping stone towards the reform men’s professional road cycling needs.

'However, the teams lament no substantial progress has been made in this regard. In fact, teams' and riders' rights are neither being recognised nor respected, and the current approach and will not realise the economic change that this sport needs.'

Barring its members from associating with the Classics Series without the express consent of their team, the AIGCP’s problem seems to be less with the idea of a GC style leaderboard, and more with what they see as a lack of substantive reform with regards to ownership.

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