Race organisers have said they are “extremely disappointed” the UCI have decided to remove the women’s Prudential RideLondon Classique from the WorldTour calendar for the 2020 season.
The decision was made due to the race being moved from its usual date to August 16, with organisers claiming they wanted to avoid a clash with the Tokyo Olympics.
However, this now means the race will clash with the Ladies Tour of Norway, which runs from August 13- 16, and the UCI will prioritise the Norwegian race, saying it is “a well-established event in the leading series of women’s professional road cycling which offers television coverage that fully complies with the organisers’ specifications.”
The UCI continued, saying it “wishes to avoid an overlapping of events that could lead to logistical difficulties for teams wishing to participate in all UCI Women’s WorldTour events: this is one of the fundamental principles of the series’ calendar.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling, said: “We are extremely disappointed to have been informed that the UCI Management Committee has decided to remove the 2020 Prudential RideLondon Classique from the UCI Women’s WorldTour. As the committee was aware, we had to move the date of the Prudential RideLondon Classique, as a one-off measure for 2020, to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games.
“The Classique has held WorldTour Status since 2016 and is the richest one day women’s cycling race. It was the first Women’s WorldTour race to have exactly the same prize money as its men’s WorldTour equivalent, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, which takes place on the following day. It is held in the centre of one the world’s greatest cities and is broadcast live to a worldwide television audience of millions.
“The Classique is also part of the world’s greatest festival of cycling which every year sees more than 100,000 people taking to their bikes on closed roads in London and Surrey.
“We hope for the benefit of women’s cycling, where we have led the way in financial parity, that through the discussions I have had in the last 36 hours with David Lappartient, President of the UCI, and Tom van Damme, representing the UCI Management Committee, we will find a way for the UCI to be able to reconsider its decision and restore UCI WorldTour status to the Classique in 2020.”
The UCI seem to be largely on the same page, seeming to say it is only the date change that is thwarting the race from being included in the WorldTour calendar. The UCI said: “Due to the popularity of the event and the quality of its organisation, the UCI hopes that conditions will allow the Prudential RideLondon Classique to return to the UCI Women’s WorldTour in future years.”