Women’s race distance maximums increase in 2017 to accommodate ‘increased level of competitiveness’

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The UCI’s Professional Cycling Council (PCC) met in Geneva, Switzerland, this week to discuss the rules and regulations for the 2017 season.

The full and final rules and regulations are yet to be published, but the amendments that were made at the last UCI Management Committee’s meeting are available through the UCI.

For the women’s peloton perhaps the biggest amendment is a change in women’s race distances.

“The new rules on race distances reflect the increase of the competitiveness of women’s peloton while allowing organisers flexibility in relation with the location and the circuit type,” explained Louis Chenaille, Press Officer at the UCI,” explained Louis Chenaille, Press Officer at the UCI.

For Olympic, world championship and Women’s WorldTour (WWT) events, the maximum race distance has increased to 160km (99.4 miles) from the previous 140km (86.9 miles).

For stage races, the maximum average distances for all stages has been bumped up to 140 km (86.9 miles) from the original 120km (74.5 miles) while each individual stage is limited to 160km (99.4 miles).

While distances for Olympic and world championship events should fall between 130-160km (80.7 – 99.4 miles), the amended rules and regulations make no mention of a minimum race distance for WWT events. This is why events like the 2017 edition of La Course, a hilly one-day road race between Briançon and the Izoard, can be a mere 67 kilometres.

Team rankings
Amendments were also made to the UCI World Rankings to address mid-season transfers. If a rider had points that contributed to a team’s ranking, those points stay with the original team. Only the points earned while racing with the new team will count towards that new team’s ranking. A trainee or guest rider’s points meanwhile do not count toward a team’s ranking either.

Team rankings are important as they determine race invitations. For Women’s Elite class 1 events, for example, race organiser must invite the 5 best ranked national federations as well as the 10 highest ranked UCI women’s teams.

Compulsory team presentation
Starting on January 1, 2017, a teams’ presentation may be organised the day before the race or the first stage of a WWT event, and unless the organiser explicitly agrees otherwise, the presence of all riders and sports directors registered is compulsory.

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