|Gavin Hughes reports:
The winds of change have started to blow through the corridors of the UCI, as proposals to introduce a league system, with inherent promotion and relegation, as well as a reduction in the number of racing days for elite teams, are to be introduced.
The announcement of the reforms were buried away in a Sport and Technical newsletter published by the UCI and have the backing of the Professional Cycling Council, a body that represents riders, teams and race organisers.
If approved, the league system would see a 16 team first tier, an eight team second tier and a third tier made up from regional teams from Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceana. These will be introduced in 2015 and replace the current World Tour.
This will be introduced in tandem with the reduction in racing days from 154 to 120. This is a significant cutback and is thought to be welcomed by the Professional Cycling Council. Clearly - this will lead to some races being scrapped, shortened or weakened, but it is not thought that the Grand Tours (Giro, Tour de France or Vuelta) will be affected.
UCI Document containing interview with Brian Cookson with proposals for the restructuring of professional cycling
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