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by Anne-Marije Rook
September 25, 2015
Photography by Balint Hamvas
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
RICHMOND, USA (CT) – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announced the launch of the UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT) and its calendar, which will replace the UCI Women Road World Cup.
The WWT will comprise a combination of one-day and stage races starting with the Strade Bianchi in March until the Madrid Challenge by the Vuelta in September. There will be a total of 35 race days at 17 events across nine countries in Europe, North America and Asia.
“The launch of the UCI Women’s WorldTour is a major step forward for women’s cycling and reflects detailed and very constructive discussions we have had with all our key stakeholders for more than a year now,” stated UCI President Brain Cookson. “Growing the profile and professionalism of women’s cycling was one of my election pledges and so I am delighted that we have been able to reach agreement on the UCI WWT which will see competition days increase by more than 60 percent.”
The calendar features popular multi-day events such as the Aviva Women’s Tour of Britain, the historical Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile and the Amgen Tour of California.
The full 2016 Women’s World Tour calendar:
1 – Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16
2 – Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe, NED – 12/03/16
3 – Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio, ITA – 20/03/2016
4 – Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16
5 – Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16
6 – La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15
7 – Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – from 06/05/16 to 08/05/16
8 – Amgen Tour of California, USA – from 19/05/16 to 22/05/16
9 – Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
10 – Aviva Womens Tour, GBR – from 15/06/16 to 19/06/16
11 – Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – from 01/07/16 to 10/07/16
12 – La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
13 – Prudential Ride London, GBR – 30/07/15
14 – Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
15 – Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
16 – GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
17 – La Madrid Challenge By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16
The UCI promises “substantial live broadcast and streaming” as well as a highlight packages and social media promotion. Out of the 17 races, eight will be broadcast live. Organisers meanwhile will be required to provide a news clip to be distributed to international broadcasters after the race finishes.
Only the top 20 UCI women’s teams will be invited to participate in the Tour, but race organisers may be allowed to invite more teams in the interest of increasing the size of the peloton.
There will be a WWT leader and young (U23) leader jerseys as well as stage race specific jerseys. Riders will also be ranked by their performance in the overall tour.
“The UCI Women’s WorldTour will present a season-long calendar of events that will help build a strong narrative around our sport,” stated UCI Vice-president and Chair of the UCI Women’s Commission Tracey Gaudry. “With riders battling for honours in one-day classics and stage races as well as for overall WWT rankings, I’m convinced we now have a premier product that will bring a whole new set of fans to women’s cycling. This is an important moment for women’s cycling.”