Image: 2016 Women's World Tour winner, Megan Guarnier. Velofocus.
The pro women's peloton will have even more opportunities to shine over the 2017 season as four more races have been added to the World Tour calendar.
The UCI have added two further one-day races and two multi-day stage races. UCI President Brian Cookson said: “The extended calendar reflects the significant progress being made to boost the profile and professionalism of women’s cycling and establish its status within mainstream sport."
The additions were announced today, soon after the finish of the UCI World Championship Road Race, won by Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen. The additions will mean a 30 per cent increase in racing days for the top women's teams.
This will be music to the ears of the top performing teams, whilst those who struggled financially in 2016 may feel the purse strings tighten. Increased requirements on organisers by the UCI have meant some teams have told us they're having to foot the bill for accommodation, and finding it hard. The ideal solution would likely be a two tier system, where only the biggest teams race the most high profile events. This said, the overall goal is to increase the profile of women's cycling and media requirements on races as well as the added race days of the UCI World Tour have helped to do this over 2016.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “We are thrilled to reveal details of the newly expanded UCI Women’s WorldTour and look forward to the start of racing in Italy next March. The extended calendar reflects the significant progress being made to boost the profile and professionalism of women’s cycling and establish its status within mainstream sport. We will continue to move forward and look at ways we can further increase the exposure of women’s cycling in line with the UCI’s strategy for developing the sport."
UCI Vice-president and President of the UCI Women’s Commission Tracey Gaudry added: “It is very exciting to unveil this calendar which demonstrates that the positive momentum for women’s cycling continues to grow. In 2017, we will strengthen the UCI Women’s WorldTour events platform, including the sequence of races, their promotion and media coverage. We have retained all 17 already successful 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour events and added four spectacular new and exciting races."
2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar
16 April: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)
23 April: Liège – Bastogne – Liège (Belgium)
17-20 August: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
29 August-3 September: Boels Rental Ladies Tour (the Netherlands)
4 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
11 March: Ronde Van Drenthe (the Netherlands)
19 March: Trofeo Binda (Italy)
26 March: Gent Wevelgem (Belgium)
2 April: Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
19 April: Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
5-7 May: Tour of Chongming Island (China)
11-14 May: Amgen Tour of California (USA)
4 June: Philadelphia Classic (USA)
7-11 June: Aviva Women’s Tour (Great Britain)
30 June-9 July: Giro Rosa (Italy)
23 July (TBC): La Course by le Tour de France (France)
29 July: Prudential Ride London (Great Britain)
11 August: Vargarda TTT (Sweden)
13 August: Vargarda Road Race (Sweden)
26 August: GP Plouay (France)
10 September: Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta (Spain)