• UCI President David L'Appartient (UCI)Source: UCI
The governing body of international cycling, the Union Cycliste International (UCI), has halted the international rankings citing 'sporting equity' as the reason for doing so.
By
SBS Cycling Central

16 Mar 2020 - 8:08 AM  UPDATED 16 Mar 2020 - 8:09 AM

In the midst of the global pandemic response to the coronavirus, the UCI has laid out both how UCI points will be allocated and Olympic quota qualifications will be awarded.

The announcements are largely based around the lack of opportunity for some riders and nations to compete in events due to travel restrictions and quarantines, and the unfairness of all not being able to attend that would jeopardise 'sporting equity'. 

The Switzerland-based organisation released a statement covering the new regulations, with all UCI points not to count in races held between March 15 and April 3. 

From the UCI statement:

"Based on the assessment made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the current situation related to the COVID-19 epidemic, and the restrictive measures taken by a number of countries within Europe and beyond prohibiting, in particular, gatherings and movement of people, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announces a series of decisive measures with the aim of ensuring the maximum protection of health of all those involved in cycling events and sporting equity between participants."

The measures dictated by the UCI include; the cancellation of events in countries deemed at risk by the World Health Organisation, suspension of points in UCI classifications until April 3 and stopping the period for determining Olympic quotas retroactively at March 3.

The reasoning behind the retroactive stopping of the Olympic qualification was that no countries had been hampered from travelling up until March 3 and so hadn't been disadvantaged up until that point.

While the majority of UCI-categorised events during this period have already been cancelled or postponed by organisers, the Tour of Thailand, Oceanias continental BMX championships and the North American continental mountain bike championships are all still set to be run during that window. 

The planned Oceania Road Championships in Brisbane are as yet unaffected, falling on April 4-6, but with Australian bans on sporting events with 500 or more people coming into effect as of today, along with required self-isolation of 14 days for travellers from overseas, the prospects for hosting the event appear grim. 

The UCI also announced that it would be closing its main centre of operations in Aigle, Switzerland to the public with staff set to work more often from home.