UCI expands women’s WorldTour with four new races

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The UCI announced this weekend that four new races have been added to the UCI Women’s WorldTour, expanding the calendar by 30 percent.

This year saw the inaugural season for the UCI Women’s WorldTour, which replaced the UCI Women Road World Cup, and features 17 events across nine countries in Europe, North America and Asia. American rider Megan Guarnier of Boels-Dolmans (pictured) took the overall win after she and her team dominated the season.

| Related: The inaugural Women’s WorldTour recap in numbers, videos and photos

For 2017, the Women’s WorldTour will see two additional stage races and two new one-day races, increasing the total number of competition days to 47, compared to this year’s competition 35 days.

The WWT will once again start off with the Strade Bianche in Italy in March and conclude in Spain with the Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta in September.

The new stage races will take place in the Netherlands and Norway, while Belgium and the Netherlands have each been awarded UCI Women’s WorldTour status for additional one-day races.

The 2017 WWT will see the return of the Dutch classic, the Amstel Gold Race, and a women’s version of Liège – Bastogne – Liège  – a Belgian monument that’s been held for men since 1892. And the already hotly contested stage races, Boels Rental Ladies Tour and the Ladies Tour of Norway, have received a bump up to WorldTour status.

“The extended calendar reflects the significant progress being made to boost the profile and professionalism of women’s cycling and establish its status within mainstream sport,” stated UCI President Brian Cookson.

“We will continue to move forward and look at ways we can further increase the exposure of women’s cycling in line with the UCI’s strategy for developing the sport.”

2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar

New events:

16 April: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)
23 April: Liège – Bastogne – Liège (Belgium)
17-20 August: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
29 August-3 September: Boels Rental Ladies Tour (the Netherlands)

Continued events:

4 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
11 March: Ronde Van Drenthe (the Netherlands)
19 March: Trofeo Binda (Italy)
26 March: Gent Wevelgem (Belgium)
2 April: Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
19 April: Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
5-7 May: Tour of Chongming Island (China)
11-14 May: Amgen Tour of California (USA)
4 June: Philadelphia Classic (USA)
7-11 June: Aviva Women’s Tour (Great Britain)
30 June-9 July: Giro Rosa (Italy)
23 July (TBC): La Course by le Tour de France (France)
29 July: Prudential Ride London (Great Britain)
11 August: Vargarda TTT (Sweden)
13 August: Vargarda Road Race (Sweden)
26 August: GP Plouay (France)
10 September: Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta (Spain)

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