In a meeting of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) in Switzerland this week, stakeholders in men's professional road cycling agreed on the next steps of UCI's reform and approved the 2017 WorldTour Calendar.
All existing WorldTour events, including the ASO's, are on the 2017 calendar.
What was agreed
The UCI stated:
The UCI WorldTour will welcome a number of other events in 2017 which will be awarded initial three-year licences.
UCI WorldTeams will be given a two-year licence for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The number of UCI WorldTeams will be set at 17 for 2017, with the objective to reach 16 a year later. From the 2019 season onwards, the number of UCI WorldTeams will be set at 16.
From the end of the 2018 season onwards,there will be an annual challenge system, based on an overall annual sporting classification, between the last ranked UCI WorldTeam and the top Pro Continental Team to enter as a UCI WorldTeam in the following season.
In the event that a UCI WorldTeam drops out of the top tier, that team will have the right to
participate in all the following season’s UCI WorldTour events, meaning that UCI WorldTeams will have
stability for the three seasons 2017 to 2019.
As of 2017, all existing UCI WordTour events will have all UCI WorldTeams participating and for new
UCI WorldTour events, participation rules which will ensure that a minimum of 10 UCI WorldTeams take
part will be proposed by the UCI for approval at the next meeting of the PCC.
What they said
Christian Prudhomme of the ASO was at the meeting in his capacity as AIOCC (International Association of Race Organisers) president.
"I am delighted that an agreement could be found that will help the sport of cycling as a whole," he said.
“This marks another important step in the reform of men’s professional cycling, and I am very pleased that we now have our stakeholders behind what represents the future of our sport," UCI president Brian Cookson said.
"I am delighted we can build on the heritage and prestige of the UCI WorldTour, while also welcoming newer but already successful events taking place in and outside Europe. We are committed to continuing the consultation with all stakeholders on various details of the reform.”
The ASO said in December 2015 it would withdraw its events in 2017 because it would be a "closed circuit" whereas it wants a system based on 'sporting criteria', meaning no team can be guaranteed a spot on the Tour de France and other top events.