Each cyclist can choose his or her racing schedule depending on whether it best suits the route, if it is best suited to prepare for the following tests, or because he believes he has a chance to do well. But, logically, you can’t always choose which races you can compete in and which ones you can’t.
The Belgian cyclocross and road cyclist, Thibau Nys decided not to compete in the Cyclocross World Cup in Dendermonde (Belgium) held on Sunday, November 12. This was because Nys wanted to race the Belgian round of the Superprestige Niel the Saturday before.
This absence of the 21-year-old at the World Cup has unleashed anger in the UCI, which believes that: “If the World Cup is seen as a toy, then we have a problem,” said UCI general director Peter Van den Abeele.
To prevent this from happening, the UCI proposes, according to its president, David Lappartient, that participation in the World Cup be mandatory. Otherwise, the rider who does not compete will be excluded from the next World Championship and the Cyclocross World Championship.
This event shows that there is an open debate about the calendar of the cyclocross World Cup. Lappartient wanted to go further and wondered why the Baloise-Trek Lions cyclist raced on Saturday if he said that he was tired due to his participation in the European Cyclocross Championships.
The increase in cyclists who decide to drop out of the cyclocross World Cups to compete in national competitions is a thorn in the side for Lappartient, which wants to change the regulations. “If a motocross rider prefers a national competition while there is a World Cup, he will not participate in the next World Cup.”
The president of the UCI explained that the World Championship is an important event like all the others and that you cannot choose which one you want to race in. Consequently, all runners have to participate in all of them.
The debate on the participation of athletes in the Cyclocross World Cup has already been formalized. In a press release, cycling’s governing body writes that it has begun a reflection on the issue.
“The UCI has decided to initiate a reflection on the participation of athletes in the rounds of the Cyclocross World Cup and other events of the UCI International Calendar of the discipline, in order to guarantee the coherence of its main events,” were the words issued in the press release.
“In fact, it is essential for the UCI to ensure a balance between the various major cyclocross events and the participation of athletes in these competitions.”