We are already in 2022, even if you don’t know it yet: UCI road cycling season, in fact, has already started on 1st of November and every new season brings UCI rules modifications. Let’s so see the main points in the rules changed for the 2022 road new season.

Team car order in opening stage in World Tour and Women’s World Tour stage races

In a Grand Tour stage having your car on the top of the convoy or in the back can make a lot of difference. During the stages following the opening one the order of the car is determined by the general classification of the best rider of each team – so, for example, while Pogacar has the yellow jersey he’ll always get his car as first one. In the classics, instead, the cars are ordered according to the position in the UCI World Ranking – so the better you are, more chance you have to get your car in front.

The same rule will now be applied on the stage 1 of each stage race – previously the cars were drawn randomly and while Tour de France and Vuelta will be unaffected by this rule in 2022 opening with a Time Trial this will be applied in 2022 Giro. Number 1 of the ranking is currently Tadej Pogacar and so the UAE car is likely to be first in the stage 1 of each stage race he is going to start like UAE (but also in the classics like Sanremo or Ronde). In fact, the decision of bringing Pogacar in Ronde Van Vlaanderen may have a direct impact on the race as being him probably first on that date means UAE is going to get the first car behind the jury as soon as he’ll or any UAE rider will be part of the first group.

Notably, this new rule will be applied only for the World Tour and the Women World Tour stage races, not ProSeries and Continental one. President of the commissaires panel will also have the power to rectify the car position if he noticed that some cars aren’t where they should be.

UCI Women World Tour race invitations

Women World Tour will mirror the World Tour: they are going to have 15 teams with rights to race in all the events and giving two mandatory invitations to the two best continental teams (women does have ProSeries level, but only for the races, not for the teams). Differently from the World Tour, the Women World Tour teams wouldn’t be forced to appear in any events, but they’ll receive invitation for them that they can refuse (same situation of Alpecin-Fenix men, basically) and there isn’t any distinction between stage races and one-day races for the two additional invitations.

UCI Women World Rankings license on sporting criteria

UCI is going to award UCI Women World Tour licenses on Sporting Criteria like it will happen the next year in the men’s side. To do so, there will be two official rankings from the next year: the team ranking on 2 years and the team ranking on 3 years.

In 2024 and 2026 top 15 teams in these rankings will get the sporting rights to be admitted to the UCI Women World Tour circuit, having so the right of getting a mandatory invitation in all the Women World Tour calendar. 2024 licenses will be assigned for two years, based on the two years world ranking, 2026 licenses will be assigned for three years, based on the two years world ranking and from 2029 licenses will be assigned every three year, according to the three years world ranking.

New criteria for first years of new events

Until 2021 if an organizer wanted to open a new event, the event should meet some requirements. One of them is that the event should be Class 2 and then grow in the upcoming years from Class 2 to Class 1, then to ProSeries and World Tour. Opening the event straight to Class 1 it’s admitted if you already have another Men Elite event while opening a World Tour event directly it’s not allowed by the rules (Tour de France Femmes is of course an exception). World Tour organizers will so be able to ask to register one of their new events directly on ProSeries level while men Elite ProSeries organizers will be able to open the event at Class 1.

Appearance fee disclosure for ProSeries riders

Until last season if a World Tour race wanted to pay a World Tour rider to ride in his race, the race had to disclose this fact to a financtial auditor appointed by UCI. The new rules extends this also to the UCI Pro Teams (and if you are thinking about a certain cyclo-cross world champion, you are probably right) and appoints the auditor to be external, also adding a sanction for non-disclosure from 10.000 to 40.000 CHF. The fee won’t be anyway disclosed to the public.

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