“The UCI WorldTour is home to professional cycling’s leading competitions, and is for many people our sport’s “shop window” and each and every one of you present has an important part to play in its success and its popularity. You are all key players in the WorldTour, and the UCI greatly appreciates your contribution and values your input into any discussions concerning the future of our sport. That is why, for the second year running, we have brought both the organisers and the teams together for this UCI WorldTour seminar.
“The 2013 UCI WorldTour was marked by great racing and great locations but there is work to be done and I am delighted to be here as the UCI’s new President to lead that work. Professional cycling must adapt to changes and new techniques and this is not always an easy path, but it is one that all of us who have the best interests of our sport at heart, can and must take.
“We must improve the financial performance of professional cycling, and to do this we must increase its visibility, make it clearer and more attractive. By doing so, we will have a more stable structure that will support all those who wish to contribute to the development of our sport in both historic and new territories.
“Over the next two days, we will discuss concrete issues which concern all of us: our different roles, new technology, television, and the culture of professional cycling. Indeed, television coverage plays an important and growing role in the success and the promotion of our sport and a good part of tomorrow’s session will be devoted to television production.
“We have a very full programme ahead of us and I am looking forward to getting down to business. I repeat, once again, that we are at the beginning of a new era and it is together, united, and only united, that we will be able to rise to the challenges that await us.”