UCI set to make new changes for the 2024/25 cyclocross season

With the 2023/24 cyclocross season now over, the UCI are already making changes for next season, with new rules surrounding certain races on the World Cup calendar and absenteeism at World Cup events planned for the 2024/25 season.

The new changes will mean that all of the UCI Cyclocross Pro Teams (P-CRO), which currently includes the Baloise Trek Lions, Deschacht-Hens-Maes and Pauwels Sauzen - Bingoal, will have to send at least three riders to every UCI World Cup event. If they fail to do so, then they will be forced to forfeit their UCI Cyclocross Pro Team licence.

Furthermore, all of the top-20 riders in the UCI World Ranking will be prohibited from competing in national series races, in order to encourage them to participate in World Cup events instead.

This follows on from comments made by UCI president David Lappartient last year, as he said in an interview with DirectVélo that “the World Cup is not a competition where you can choose what you want to ride. Everyone just has to participate”.

This was triggered by Thibau Nys skipping the World Cup round in Dendermonde in November due to fatigue, after he competed in a round of the Telenet Superprestige series in Niel a day prior.

This caused a lot of discourse around riders missing the big races and seemed to anger many senior officials, including UCI CEO Peter Van den Abeele, who said in an interview with WielerFlits that “if the World Cup is seen as a toy, then we have a problem”.

The situation around starting grids has also been reorganised, as the grid order for the first two rows of UCI World Cup events and the UCI Cyclocross World Championships will now be set by the order in the World Cup rankings. This has been done in order to once again encourage riders to participate in the World Cup events to give themselves a better starting position in the following races.

There will also now be a number of ‘protected race’ events throughout the season, whereby other series will not be able to hold events on the same weekend as certain rounds of the World Cup. The UCI say that this is to encourage the ‘international development of the cyclocross discipline’, which implies that this ‘protected race’ status will be reserved for races outside of Belgium and the Netherlands.

It certainly seems like Lappartient was not messing around when he made his comments last year and it is clear that the UCI are committed to growing the World Cup and the sport of cyclocross in general.

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