Massi-Tactic, the Spanish cycling team, has faced a challenging time in its pursuit of a UCI licence. The team is now confirming it won’t be a part of the international category in 2024. Club Ciclista Baix Ter President Sergi Güell revealed the team contacted over 300 companies across various sectors, including cycling, in a bid to meet the new budget requirements set by the Real Federación Española de Ciclismo (RFEC) for UCI licences, but to no avail.
The story began in late summer 2022 when the Professional Cycling Council (CCP) and RFEC announced new regulations to professionalise women’s cycling in the UCI category. This included a minimum wage requirement for all riders. Massi-Tactic’s budget, initially less than 300,000 euros, needed to exceed 500,000 euros to comply with the new standards without major stars.
Despite a moratorium delaying these changes until 2024, the team struggled to secure the necessary budget. “We saw we had a social responsibility within Spanish and especially Catalan women’s cycling and couldn’t fold. If the Baix Ter structure disappears, Catalonia is left orphaned.” Güell stated.
Massi-Tactic’s 2023 budget was primarily sourced from public institutions, with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s sponsorship tripling in recent years. However, securing private sponsorship proved difficult. “Companies want everything for nothing,” Güell expressed, highlighting the challenges in finding sponsors willing to commit to the required budget.
This predicament isn’t unique to Massi-Tactic. Of the eight Spanish continental teams in 2023, only Laboral Kutxa was able to meet the minimum wage requirements initially. The extra year to meet the requirement has only seen Eneicat CM join them as a Spanish Continental team in 2024.
Consequently, Massi-Tactic decided to give its riders, some under contract for 2024, the freedom to explore other options. Despite hopes lingering until the last moment, no positive responses came from the final meetings in mid-November. In 2024, Massi-Tactic will operate as a national team but with the infrastructure of a UCI team, including materials, personnel, and logistics. However, the team will lack international riders and must decline some races like the Mallorca Challenge due to budget constraints.
The team plans to start the season at Setmana Valenciana, participate in the Spanish UCI calendar, and compete internationally in races like the Giro Toscana and Tour de l’Ardèche. as a non-Continental team, Massi Tactic won’t be able to race the Women’s WorldTour races held in Spain like the Vuelta Femenina, Itzulia Women and Vuelta a Burgos.
“We hope to fight to win the Copa de España, don’t rule out some young category podiums in UCI races, and want to win at home,” Güell added, setting clear sporting goals for 2024 while continuing the fight to return as a UCI Continental team in 2025.