LONDON (Reuters) - The International Cycling Union (UCI) has left the door open for a possible profound reform of the professional calendar but said on Tuesday that no changes had yet been decided.
“The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirms that it has been in discussions with Omega Pharma-QuickStep owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok since late 2011 about the possible development of the professional road cycling calendar,” the UCI said in a statement.
”These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organise elements of this new calendar.
“The UCI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them as the initial investors in the joint venture and will now enter into extensive dialogue with the teams and race organisers before any final agreement is concluded.”
On Monday, eight teams sat down with sports promoter Gifted and Czech businessman Zdenek Bakala, also the owner of Mark Cavendish’s new team Omega Pharma-Quick Step, as they look to build a World Cycling Series consisting of ten four-day races around the world.
“No agreement has been reached on the reforms that will take place to the calendar and as such any media reports about the future of the calendar are pure speculation at this stage,” the UCI added.
“The UCI will retain full control over the calendar, including sporting and technical elements.”
Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins’s Team Sky were not at the discussion table in Brussels on Monday.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows