A new International Cycling Union (UCI) world ranking system will come into force in men’s professional road cycling later this month.
Cycling’s governing body have revealed the ranking for individual riders and nations will be published on a weekly basis starting on January 11 and reflects a similar ranking in place already for women’s road cycling.
The rankings will take into account the results of the 52 previous weeks in a rolling system, which means it will only fully come into effect at the start of 2017.
Rather than being based on a specific series, as is the case with the UCI WorldTour rankings, the results from the entire international road cycling calendar will count, including the WorldTour, continental circuits, World Championships, National and Continental Championships, the Olympics and Continental Games.
Each of the riders who earn points in the races will be part of the rankings, including those who are not members of WorldTour teams.
The new rankings will not have an impact on the existing continental rankings, although they are now also set to be published weekly and will include riders from the WorldTour teams.
It is claimed the world ranking system has been developed following a thorough consultation process which included riders, teams, organisers and National Federations, as well as media and fans.
The changes are designed to continue the development and promote the sport further in forthcoming years, as professional road cycling continues to be restructured.
UCI President Brian Cookson believes the reforms of men’s professional cycling, which are due to come into force in 2017, will offer “greater stability” for teams with WorldTour teams set to receive licenses for initial three year period.
“We have also formed the Professional Calendar Working Group which will be administered by the UCI and comprise two representatives from the teams and event organisers, plus a rider observer,” Cookson said.
“This new Working Group will maximise cooperation between stakeholders and advise the Professional Cycling Council on the UCI WorldTour calendar.”
Despite the reforms coming after two years of consulation, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) informed the UCI last month they will not register their events, including the Tour de France, for WorldTour status in 2017 as a result of the reforms.
ASO has now opted to register their events for the second tier Hors Classe status for 2017 season, rather than the top tier.
Additionally, the Women’s WorldTour is due to begin in March, with the number of competition days by more than 60 per cent.
The top 20 UCI Women’s Teams will be invited to participate in each event, although organisers will have the option to increase the size of the peloton by offering a greater number of teams the chance to race.
Cookson also claimed progress has been made over the year in enhancing fans’ experience with the governing body having been part of a collaboration to bring cameras into the peloton and supporting the experimentation of geo-positioning vita GPS trackers at the Tour de Romandie.
By Michael Pavitt, this article was republished with permission from the original publisher Inside the Games www.insidethegames.biz