16 events plus the World Championships will make-up the new professional women's top tier
The Women’s Tour and RideLondon GP are two of 17 events to make-up the new UCI Women’s WorldTour, which will commence from 2016, replacing the World Cup.
The World Cup was established in 1998 and ran until last year, when it was won by Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans). But now a new WorldTour, similar to that of the men, takes its place as the leading series for the female pros, with 35 race days included on its calendar.
No new British women’s race is set to feature in the new series, as previously speculated.
The competition will run from March to September and will included a combination of one-day races and stage races, including Strade Bianche, the Tour of Flanders, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of California.
20 teams will be invited to participate in each event, with organisers able to invite further teams if they wish to increase the size of the peloton.
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Like the former World Cup, jerseys will be worn by the riders leading the various classifications, including the overall and best young rider, while individual competitions will be able to introduce their own jerseys. The UCI have also said they’ll continue to run highlights and live broadcasts across their online women’s cycling channel, as they did with the World Cup.
“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,” said UCI president Brian Cookson on the launch.
“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% with the peloton taking place in 17 events across Europe, the US and China.”
The inaugural women’s WorldTour commences on March 5 next year with the Strade Bianche one-day classic and ends with the World Championships in October.
The UCI Women’s WorldTour 2016 calendar
1 – Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16
2 – Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe, NED – 12/03/16
3 – Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16
4 – Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16
5 – La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15
6 – Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – from 06/05/16 to 08/05/16
7 – Amgen Tour of California, USA – from 19/05/16 to 22/05/16
8 – Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
9 – Aviva Women’s Tour, GBR – from 15/06/16 to 19/06/16
10 – Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – from 01/07/16 to 10/07/16
11 – La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
12 – Prudential RideLondon, GBR – 30/07/15
13 – Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
14 – Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
15 – GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
16 – LA MADRID CHALLENGE By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16
UCI Road World Championships, QAT – from 09/10/16 to 16/10/16