Dwars door Vlaanderen set to take WorldTour status in 2017

Het Nieuwsblad reports that the Flanders Classic race will be granted an initial three-year WorldTour status from 2017

Edward Theuns (Trek) takes the smooth line during Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Belgian went on to finish third behind Jens Debusschere and Bryan Coquard.
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Dwars door Vlaanderen is set to join the likes of Ghent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders as a Flanders Classics race with WorldTour status.

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that the cobbled Classic race will join the top tier of professional races from 2017, with a spot guaranteed until 2019.

The official Twitter page of the race also confirmed the news, however the UCI has yet to make an official announcement.

It will be the first time a race has been granted top tier status since the E3 Harelbeke one-day classic moved up in 2012,  and comes as part of the UCI's block of reforms for the WorldTour in 2017.

The UCI said that it hopes that new races in the WorldTour, which must follow “strict standards,” will help underline cycling’s global reach.

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Race organisers Flanders Classics already successfully hold two WorldTour races each year in Ghent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders, as well as putting on three other 1.HC ranked races in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Scheldeprijs and De Brabantse Pijl.

Dwars door Vlaanderen normally sits on the Wednesday between Monument Milan-San Remo and E3 the following Friday, kicking off three weeks of Classics that culminates with prestigious Paris-Roubaix in mid-April.

Lotto-Soudal's Jens Debusschere took victory in the 2016 edition of Dwars, which has run since 1945 and takes in some of the famous Flanders Hellingen like the Oude Kwaremont and the Paterberg.