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The women’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has been promoted to WorldTour level for 2020. The one-day race, officially the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, is the first event in the Southern Hemisphere to join the top tier of women’s road cycling since the Women’s WorldTour began in 2016.
The UCI confirmed the race’s promotion on Wednesday, in publishing a list of women’s and men’s WorldTour events for the 2020 season.
“The elevation of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race to UCI Women’s WorldTour status is [a] recognition by the UCI of the exceptional standard and promotion of the event since its inception,” said Tracey Gaudry, member of the UCI Management Committee and president of the UCI Women’s Commission. “The 2020 Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will become the [opening] event of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour, the highest series of professional women’s cycling in the world.”
Scheduled for Saturday February 1, the sixth edition of the women’s “Cadel’s Race” is the only new addition to the Women’s WorldTour (WWT) in 2020. The series will again feature 22 events with the Prudential RideLondon Classique losing its WWT status (due to scheduling issues caused by the Tokyo Olympics).
Equal prize money will be offered for the women’s and men’s Cadel’s Races in 2020. Deakin University, meanwhile, has reaffirmed its support for the women’s race, announcing it had extended its sponsorship through 2022.
“We are passionate about supporting women to achieve their goals and that’s why we support the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race,” said Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO. “This event strongly aligns with our commitment to inspire women to achieve at the highest possible level in whatever they choose to do.”
The women’s Cadel’s Race began in 2015 at the same time as its companion men’s race. The women’s event started as a domestic-level race — part of Australia’s National Road Series — but was elevated to UCI 1.2 status a year later. In 2018 the event was promoted to 1.1 status.
Cuba’s Arlenis Sierra (Astana) won the 2019 women’s Cadel’s Race after getting away late on her own.
The 2020 Cadel’s Race weekend kicks off on Thursday January 30 with Towards Zero Race Torquay, which moves to the seaside town after three years at Melbourne’s Albert Park. The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will be held on Saturday February 1, followed by the men’s WorldTour event on Sunday February 2.
2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour Calendar
1 February: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race- Elite Women’s Race (Australia)
7 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
15 March: Ronde van Drenthe – UCI Women’s WorldTour (the Netherlands)
22 March: Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio (Italy)
26 March: AG Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne (Belgium)
29 March: Gent – Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)
5 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres (Belgium)
19 April: Amstel Gold Race Ladies (the Netherlands)
22 April: La Flèche Wallonne Féminine (Belgium)
26 April: Liège – Bastogne – Liège Femmes (Belgium)
7 – 9 May: Tour of Chongming Island UCI Women’s World Tour (China)
14 – 16 May: Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race (USA)
8 – 13 June: OVO Energy Women’s Tour (Great Britain)
26 June – 5 July: Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile (Italy)
10 July: La Course by Le Tour de France (France)
8 August: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden TTT (Sweden)
9 August: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden RR (Sweden)
13 – 16 August: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
22 August: GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT (France)
25 – 30 August: Boels Ladies Tour (the Netherlands)
5 – 6 September: Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (Spain)
20 October: Tour of Guangxi – UCI Women’s WorldTour (China)