The International Cycling Union (UCI) has revealed plans for a new event encompassing all of the sport’s core disciplines, one of a number of initiatives under the ‘Agenda 2022’ banner.
The announcements come following a UCI Management Committee meeting in Arzon, France. While Agenda 2022 is set to be detailed in full after its ratification by the UCI Congress on September 28, the global governing body has outlined a number of important structural initiatives concerning the future of the federation and cycling, most notably with regards to the role of women.
The four-year roadmap outlines that the new event will bring the World Championships for several disciplines together in one region, as part of a “true festival of cycling” lasting between 17 and 19 days. To be held every four years, in each pre-Olympic year starting from 2023, the event will bring together the following World Championships: Road, Mountain Bike, Track, BMX Racing, Urban Cycling, Para-cycling Road, Para-cycling Track, Indoor Cycling and Gran Fondo.
The UCI stated that preliminary studies suggest the event would attract no fewer than 120 participating countries, 2,600 elite athletes, 6,000 amateurs and 10,000 accredited individuals, including 700 journalists. The event will bring elite and amateur athletes together through the inclusion of Gran Fondo and BMX World Challenge events, as well as mass start events on the road and in the mountain bike marathon.
The UCI also stated that fans will have the opportunity to watch several World Championships in the same geographical area, thus limiting their costs and allowing them to discover new disciplines. The proposal is envisioned to allow a host city to become the “true capital of cycling” for almost three weeks, using its existing infrastructure. It will also be able to showcase its city centre, where it can hold competitions for disciplines such as trials or BMX Freestyle Park.
The place of women in cycling is also a key part of Agenda 2022. With regards to the World Championships, the UCI Management Committee approved several measures designed to guarantee gender equality during podium ceremonies. The traditional use of female models during such ceremonies has come under fire of late and this policy, which notably requires UCI approval for all outfits worn by hosts and hostesses, or an equal representation of the two genders in these roles, will come into effect from the 2018 Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria.
The Management Committee also approved the distribution by the UCI of equal prize money for men and women in the different overall standings of the Cyclo-cross World Cup. This decision means that perfect gender parity in prize money paid by the UCI has now been reached across all disciplines and all UCI competitions.
It was also decided that prize money paid by organisers of the Cyclo-cross World Cup will gradually increase over three seasons, starting in 2019-20, so as to reach perfect parity in 2021-22. Finally, the decision was taken to add a Women Junior (age 17-18) category to the World Cup programme, beginning from the 2020-21 season.
Commenting on the masterplan, UCI president David Lappartient said: “I am very happy with the approval of Agenda 2022 by the UCI Management Committee, which contributed to its creation. Based on the programme ‘Our Passion’ which I championed last year during the presidential campaign, this document will now serve as a plan of action for the UCI administration during the four coming years.
“It contains crucial initiatives for guaranteeing equality between men and women, whether they be riders, federation employees or any other women involved in our sport. It is essential that we all work together for this cause, which is one of my biggest priorities for action.
“This document also contains a totally new concept: one event bringing together several UCI World Championships in the same place, at the same time, as part of a festival of cycling that already sounds fantastic.”
In other news, the Management Committee has also approved the registration of snow bike events on the international mountain bike calendar, in Class 3, from 2019, with the agreement of each relevant national federation. This decision will allow for a Snow Bike World Cup, comprising four rounds in four countries, to take place from 2020.
The integration of Enduro World Series events into the mountain bike calendar from 2019 was also validated. This decision comes alongside the return of the Trophy of Nations, an event for national teams held at the end of the season which will see the winners receive the UCI rainbow jersey.
The Management Committee also awarded the Junior Track Cycling World Championships to Frankfurt on the Oder (Germany) in 2019, and Cairo (Egypt) in 2020.