The UCI hopes to announce a revised Women's WorldTour calendar by May 15 ©Getty Images

International Cycling Union (UCI) has said it is working with stakeholders in women’s cycling to determine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and aims to ensure the resumption of the 2020 season under the best possible conditions.

The governing body said it has held talks with representatives of women riders (CPA Women) and Marianne Vos in her role of member of the UCI Athletes’ Commission and riders’ representatives on the UCI Road Commission.

Discussions have also involved the International Association of Cycling Race Organisers (AIOCC), organisers of UCI Women’s WorldTour events and women’s teams.

Women’s teams have been represented by UNIO, an association formed by and representing women’s professional cycling teams registered with the UCI, comprising of five Women’s WorldTeams and 17 Women’s Continental Teams.

The UCI have said a working group comprising of the parties mentioned will form with the primary mission of proposing a restructured UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar.

The calendar has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, with the UCI saying 800 events across all disciplines and categories have requested either postponements or cancellations.

The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is the sole UCI Women’s WorldTour event to take place so far this season.

A total of 14 Women’s WorldTour events have either been cancelled or postponed to date, with eight races still scheduled to take place on the original dates.

The UCI said the working group will assess the revision of participation rules and of the number of riders per team at the start of races on the women’s road calendar.

It will also oversee the implementation of the framework agreement made between the UCI and representatives of riders and teams.

UCI Women's WorldTour racing has been heavily impacted by the pandemic ©Getty Images
UCI Women's WorldTour racing has been heavily impacted by the pandemic ©Getty Images

This framework, already introduced for men’s professional teams, enables teams facing serious financial difficulties in the current context of the pandemic to take necessary measures for their survival while preserving the rights of their riders and staff.

The UCI said the working group will meet regularly and follow the world health situation and its impact on women’s professional road cycling.

It is hoped the working group, which will hold its first meeting this week, will announce a new version of the Women’s WorldTour calendar by May 15.

Racing has currently been suspended until July 1, extending to August 1 for UCI WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour races.

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit our sport hard, leading to a brutal halt to the season with dramatic sporting and financial consequences for organisers, teams and riders,” said David Lappartient, UCI President.

“This comes in a period where several important steps initiated by the UCI in favour of women’s professional road cycling, such as the introduction of a minimum salary at the level of UCI Women’s WorldTeams, have just been realised.

“The UCI and, notably, the CPA Women, Marianne Vos in her role of member of the UCI Athletes’ Commission, organisers and UNIO, are working together to put women’s professional cycling back on track, in particular with the establishment of a revised 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar.

“With our partners, we will propose new dates for UCI Women’s WorldTour events as soon as possible, naturally in so far as the world health situation enables us to do so.

“Faced with this immense challenge, we must more than ever remain united, responsible and strong to get our sport back into action, all the while maintaining the priority of the health of athletes and all concerned parties.”

The UCI had faced calls from the Cyclists’ Alliance Rider Council to engage with the group over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women’s professional cycling.

The body, which was formed in 2017, features former professional cyclist Iris Slappendel as executive director and counts Vos among its Rider Council members.

The Cyclists’ Alliance is not recognised by the UCI.