It has been reported that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has expressed profound dissatisfaction following the decision of cyclist Thibau Nys to skip the Wereldbeker Dendermonde. UCI President David Lappartient is of the opinion that participation in UCI World Cup events should be mandatory. He has cautioned that failure to attend could result in riders being barred from subsequent World Cup races and even the World Cyclo-cross Championships.
Reigniting the World Cup Calendar Debate
The debate surrounding the World Cup calendar has been reignited as a consequence of Nys choosing to participate in the Superprestige Niel over the Wereldbeker Dendermonde. UCI official Peter Van den Abeele has voiced his concerns, stating that if the World Cup is viewed merely as an optional event, it presents a significant problem for the sport.
Adding to the discussion in an interview with DirectVélo, Lappartient questioned Nys’ reasoning for missing the World Cup, given that he had decided to race in Niel despite claiming to be fatigued after a disappointing European Cyclo-cross Championship performance. The UCI President acknowledged that although Nys is a significant figure in cyclo-cross, he is not the only rider overlooking World Cup events. On the topic of logistical challenges, specifically the solitary US World Cup round, Lappartient suggested that combining it with a Canadian event could alleviate travel strain on riders.
Stricter Rules on the Horizon
The UCI President is disturbed by the increasing trend of riders skipping World Cup races and is contemplating implementing stricter regulations. He is considering a rule that would exclude riders from future World Cup races and the World Championships if they choose a national race over a World Cup event. Lappartient insisted that the World Cup is not a series where riders should be able to pick and choose their races, but rather one that requires full commitment from all competitors.
He addressed an issue that’s been growing: the trend of riders skipping World Cup events. Lappartient specifically threatened to bar riders from the World Championships if they intentionally miss World Cup races. He also invited cycling fans to weigh in on the debate through a poll asking whether it’s right to exclude riders from the World Championships if they knowingly skip World Cup events.