On Friday the Amaury Sports Organisation annouced in a press release that it would be registering their races as ‘Hors Class’ from 2017 in protest to the UCI reforms taking place over the coming years.
In what seems to be a bitter reaction, the ASO will not allow their races to be included on the WorldTour calendar because part of the reform allows teams to hold a three-year licence to create a stable economical future for the teams and a closed circuit, but the ASO rejects that model and prefers to stay true to the open European model that gives priority to ‘sporting criterion’.
A ‘Hors Class’ gives the organiser some power to select only 15 WorldTour teams to race in the event which will mean that come 2017, some WorldTour teams will be omitted from the Tour de France line up.
Those races also include the Vuelta a España, Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné.
In a statement released by the UCI, they clearly outline their intention to continue with the reforms.
“The UCI remains committed to implementing the reforms which were agreed as part of this extensive consultation process and which the UCI believes properly balances the interests of all those involved in professional cycling.”
The ASO has had a huge stronghold on the economical model of cycling that makes it a very powerful corporation, however a new organisation called Velon, chaired by of 11 of the 18 WorldTour teams, aims to give more revenue back to the teams to create a sustainable future. Velon has been vocal in their fight for equality and it is no secret that the ASO are not to friendly with them due to the possiblity that the ASO will lose their stronghold if teams are given more negotiating powers.