Next year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will feature all of the world’s leading teams after the UCI announced an expansion of the WorldTour calendar that sees the one-day race promoted to the top flight, together with 10 other events.
Other one-day races that will feature on the enlarged calendar after being awarded WorldTour licences for 2017-19 include the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia, the Belgian Classics Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Dwars Door Vlaanderen, and Italy’s Strade Bianche.
Four stage races also move up to the WorldTour. They are the Tour of Qatar, the Abu Dhabi Tour, the Amgen Tour of California and – controversially, given the Ergodan government’s brutal crackdown after last month’s attempted coup, The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey.
All existing WorldTour events remain on the calendar, with UCI president Brian Cookson saying: “The publication of this new calendar is an important step in the development of men’s professional road cycling.
“Alongside the prestigious events which have already proven their worth, the UCI WorldTour is enriched by the addition of some truly fantastic races across the globe. I’m delighted to see this development.”
Sunday’s fourth edition of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic was won on the Mall by Etixx-Quick Step’s Tom Boonen, who will have retired by the time next year’s event takes place on 30 July, with his last race being Paris-Roubaix.
Event Director Hugh Brasher commented: “We are absolutely thrilled by this news. It is a huge tribute to the team at the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership to achieve this after just four editions of the race.
“The event was set up as a legacy event from London 2012 and to rise to the top echelon of professional men’s cycling after such a short period of time is truly outstanding.
“Prudential RideLondon now features UCI WorldTour races for both men and women; both are the world’s richest one-day races and have equal prize money.
“Our research has shown that the Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling has already inspired tens of thousands to take up cycling and hundreds of thousands to ride more often. WorldTour status will inspire many, many more.”
The full list of new and existing WorldTour races appears below, with next year’s season opening and closing with, respectively, the Santos Tour Down Under and Il Lombardia, just as it does at present.
New UCI WorldTour events for 2017
29 January: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
6-10 February: Tour of Qatar (Qatar)
23-26 February: Abu Dhabi Tour (United Arab Emirates)
25 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
4 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
22 March: Dwars Door Vlaanderen / A travers la Flandre (Belgium)
18-23 April: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey)
1 May: Eschborn-Frankfurt ‘Rund um den Finanzplatz’ (Germany)
14-21 May: Amgen Tour of California (United States)
30 July: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)
Current UCI WorldTour events
17-22 January: Santos Tour Down Under (Australia)
5-12 March: Paris-Nice (France)
8-14 March: Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy)
18 March: Milano-Sanremo (Italy)
20-26 March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain)
24 March: Record Bank E3 Harelbeke (Belgium)
26 March: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)
2 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres (Belgium)
3-8 April: Vuelta al País Vasco (Spain)
9 April: Paris-Roubaix (France)
16 April: Amstel Gold Race (Netherlands)
19 April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
23 April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)
25-30 April: Tour de Romandie (Switzerland)
6-28 May: Giro d’Italia (Italy)
4-11 June: Critérium du Dauphiné (France)
10-18 June: Tour de Suisse (Switzerland)
1-23 July: Tour de France (France)
29 July: Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian (Spain)
29 July-4 August: Tour de Pologne (Poland)
7-13 August: Eneco Tour (Benelux)
19 August-10 September: Vuelta a España (Spain)
20 August: Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany)
27 August: Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France (France)
8 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Canada)
10 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada)
30 September: Il Lombardia (Italy)
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.