The potential for the development of cycling on the various non-European continents is enormous (big audiences, promising riders, ideal environment and enthusiastic partners). The introduction by the International Cycling Union of the 5 Continental Circuits provides an adequate and realistic context in order to encourage the expansion of cycling, everywhere in the world.
The creation of UCI Continental Circuits has 2 objectives :
Strengthen the interest generated by top level cycling races on each continent, with the media as well as the public, thanks to :
- Improved clarity of the calendar (structuring by continent, clear hierarchial organization of races, clearly defined participation rules).
- The improvement of races on a sporting level; a greater number of points at stake increases the importance of competitions, riders' motivation and the quality of the event.
Encourage the creation of durable structures, able to stimulate the development of cycling on all continents, thanks to :
- Dividing up of the calendar enabling teams, even if their resources are modest, to take part in an international hotly contested challenge. The most talented riders would progress, before joining a UCI ProTeam.
- Improvement in the appeal of continental races (the biggest races of the UCI Asia Tour, for example, will be considered in the same way as the most prestigious races on the UCI Europe Tour), which would encourage new organisers and their partners to also develop cycling on their continent.
What are the UCI Continental Circuits?
In 2005, some 450 high level races will make up the UCI Africa Tour, UCI America Tour, UCI Asia Tour, UCI Europe Tour and the UCI Oceania Tour.
Who takes part in UCI Continental Circuits?
Four types of teams:
- professional teams,
- continental teams,
- national teams and
- regional teams.
Clear participation rules define races at which various teams are allowed to take part.
What are the UCI Continental Circuit Rankings?
Races on the Continental Circuits have an individual ranking, a team ranking and a country ranking.
The rider in the first place of the individual ranking of the continental circuit at the end of the season will be the sacred winner of his circuit.