Tour de France to start a week early next year as UCI release 2020 WorldTour calendar

The date change means there will be only 26 days between the end of the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France next year

Stage eight of the Giro d'Italia 2019 (Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The UCI have released their 2020 WorldTour calendar with the major news being the Tour de France is set to start a week earlier than normal.

This is to avoid a clash with the Tokyo Olympic Games and allow more riders to be able to ride the Tour de France and then make it to Japan for the Olympics.

The dates for the 2020 Tour de France will be June 27 - July 19, with the men's Olympic road race taking place six days later, the Paris to Tokyo transfer a mere 6,000 miles, on Saturday July 25.

All UCI women's WorldTour races from May onwards will take place a week earlier to also accommodate the Olympics, with the women's road race taking place on Sunday July 26.

Other changes in the men's calendar include the Tour de Pologne now taking place in July rather than August and The Prudential RideLondon Surrey Classic scheduled for slightly later than usual on August 16.

The 2020 Vuelta a España will include an extra day than usual due to its Grand Départ taking place in Utretcht, the Netherlands, mirroring the 2015 Tour de France's Grand Départ.

The extra day will be a rest day on Monday August 17 after three stages have been completed, which will allow teams to transfer back to Spain for the remainder of the Grand Tour, with the dates of the Spanish Grand Tour being August 14 - September 6.

The Tour of Turkey will not be part of the 2020 WorldTour calendar, a decision made due to fewer than the requisite 10 WorldTour teams taking part in the race over the past two years.

The 2020 men's WorldTour will be made up of 37 events, taking in 14 countries across four continents, beginning on January 21 with the Santos Tour Down Under and culminating with the Tour of Guangxi on October 20.

The 2020 women's WorldTour will comprise of 22 events in 11 countries across four continents, with both La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège appearing as surprise inclusions after the races seemed likely to be cut after ASO were said to be refusing to provide the television coverage demanded by UCI rules.

The biggest addition to the women's calendar is the introduction of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race that will run alongside the men's event, taking place a day before on February 1.

This new race will kick the season off, which will also culminate in China at the Tour of Guangxi on October 20.

The Prudential RideLondon Classique, however, will be dropped from the WorldTour calendar because race organisers have changed the date, which will see the British race clash with the Ladies Tour of Norway. However, the UCI have said they hope the race will return to their WorldTour calendar in future years, praising it's popularity and quality of organisation.

The UCI will announce their complete road calendar, including ProSeries, Class 1 and Class 2 events after they meet at the World Championships in Yorkshire in September.

All men's races announced for the 2020 calendar guarantee their presence in the WorldTour for the next three years, so long as they continue to comply with the UCI's rules and regulations.

Other changes that have been made by the governing body ahead of the upcoming season include an agreement that WorldTour teams will have the opportunity to manage a development team registered as a UCI Continental team. The two teams, which will be able to operate under the same sponsor name and wear the same kit, will not be allowed to take part in the same races but will be able to exchange a certain number of riders throughout the season.

A minimum required number of stagiaires for each team (young riders looking to make the step up to WorldTour level) will also be introduced for from August 2019, and all members of men's WorldTour teams will have to sign a declaration of acknowledgement of the ethical principles to be respected concerning the treatment of team members, as is already the case for women's teams.

2020 UCI Men's WorldTour Calendar:

21 - 26 January: Santos Tour Down Under (Australia)

2 February: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)

23 - 29 February: UAE Tour (United Arab Emirates)

29 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (Belgium)

7 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)

8 - 15 March: Paris-Nice (France)

11 - 17 March: Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy)

21 March: Milano-Sanremo (Italy)

23 - 29 March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain)

25 March: AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne (Belgium)

27 March: E3 BinckBank Classic (Belgium)

29 March: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)

1 April: Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre (Belgium)

5 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres (Belgium)

6 - 11 April: Itzulia Basque Country (Spain)

12 April: Paris-Roubaix (France)

19 April: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)

22 April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)

26 April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)

28 April - 3 May: Tour de Romandie (Switzerland)

1 May: Eschborn-Frankfurt (Germany)

9 - 31 May: Giro d'Italia (Italy)

10 - 16 May: Amgen Tour of California (United States)

31 May-7 June: Critérium du Dauphiné (France)

6 - 14 June: Tour de Suisse (Switzerland)

27 June-19 July: Tour de France (France)

5 - 11 July: Tour de Pologne (Poland)

25 July: Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (Spain)

14 August - 6 September: La Vuelta Ciclista a España (Spain)

16 August: EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany)

16 August: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)

23 August: Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France (France)

31 August – 6 September: BinckBank Tour

11 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Canada)

13 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada)

10 October: Il Lombardia (Italy)

15 – 20 October: Gree - Tour of Guangxi (China)

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 empowered with SRAM (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)

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