While the UCI elite men’s and women’s road cycling world championships are taking place in Imola, Italy, UCI officials met this week to finalize details for 2021 and future seasons.
On Friday the UCI management committee announced the hosts for 11 world championship events through 2026, as well as what one-day and multi-day races were approved for the international race calendar for the 2021 season.
The biggest change for 2021 concerns the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar. Notably missing on the competition lineup is the Giro Rosa. The stage race now has 2.Pro status for 2021, meaning it has lost the WorldTour designation.
The move marks a major setback for the Italian race, which is often referred to as the only grand tour in women’s cycling. Usually a 10-day race, the Giro Rosa often sends riders up the same steep and long climbs used by the Giro d’Italia, and it has become a major platform for the sport.
At the time of this release, neither the UCI nor organizers of the Giro Rosa provided an explanation for this downgrade. However, the 2020 event, which concluded some two weeks ago, failed to provide the minimum live televisable content of 45 minutes, as required by the UCI.
Another change for 2021: Spain’s Vuelta a Burgos Feminas was elevated to WorldTour status and will run from May 20-23.
La Course by Le Tour de France will be held on July 18, which coincides with the final stage of the 2021 Tour de France. In 2020, La Course was hosted on the same day as the Tour Grand Départ.
Among the junior, under-23, and masters world championships events and locations, the following elite events and host locations were announced:
2021 UCI Masters Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Il Ciocco, Italy
2024 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Snowshoe, West Virginia, United States
2025 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Wallis, Switzerland
2025 UCI BMX World Championships: Copenhagen, Denmark
2025 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Liévin, France
2026 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Val di Sole, Italy
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic may extend into 2021 and that some events were rescheduled for 2021 which did not take place in 2020 — most notably the Olympic Games — the UCI urged caution in considering the proposed calendar as locked-in, and that flexibility may be needed.
“The staging of the events in question will nevertheless depend on the development of the health situation in the regions concerned,” was indicated in a statement issued Friday.
Additional flexibility was also requested of — and granted by — the UCI to allow, “the relaxation of several rules linked to the participation of teams in events, and to the replacement of a rider with a last-minute positive COVID-19 test.”
The UCI has also evaluated and updated the rules regarding professional cyclocross teams and riders participating in road events, and has approved the recommendation that pro ‘cross riders and teams can now also race with pro road teams, under the same participation model that allows UCI Continental Teams and UCI Women’s Continental Teams to do the same.