PARIS, March 5, 2013 (AFP) – Cycling’s world governing body has said it is
against plans to create a new WorldSeries in the sport, amid reports of talks
about a possible breakaway competition featuring top teams.
“The UCI does not want a league,” the president of the International
Cycling Union, Pat McQuaid, said at the weekend. “But we still have to develop
professional cycling and it’s important to work together.”
The proposal for a World Series is said to include plans to restructure the
sport, introducing new races and giving teams a greater share of broadcasting
revenue rather than the current system, where money from television rights
goes to organizers.
Britain’s Team Sky, which counts 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins
and runner-up Chris Froome among its riders, is reportedly in favor of a
change in the structure of professional cycling.
A dozen other teams are also said to be interested by the project.
Team Sky is backed by British satellite broadcaster Sky television, whose
sports arm currently holds the rights to broadcast English Premier League
France’s David Lappartient, the newly elected head of the European Cycling
Union (UEC) representing national cycling federations on the continent,
however, said they were “very hostile” to a WorldSeries event.
Sources also said that those behind the new competition — Briton Jonathan
Price and Swiss Thomas Kuerth, who headed a bid to create a European football
super-league in the early 2000s — had not a favorable response from the Tour
The UCI currently runs the elite WorldTour and last December admitted
having talks with a group of investors and lobbyists led by the Czech owner of
the Omega-Pharma team, Zdenek Bakala, to overhaul the program but the