UCI to broadcast nine women’s Road World Cup races in 2014

Four networks have picked up the broadcast package, and the UCI says it is in talks with others

Each of the nine races on the UCI Women’s Road World Cup will be broadcast this season, according to a press release.

The announcement comes after the UCI added a women’s race on the final day of the Tour de France in Paris. Both moves will help the sport gain more exposure, the UCI hopes.

“This is an exciting and positive year for women’s cycling,” UCI President Brian Cookson said. “With the launch in 2014 of La Course by Le Tour de France on the last day of the Tour de France and now this increased visibility of our leading professional women’s cycling series, it is clear that real momentum is building.”

Four television networks worldwide have already picked up the broadcast packages, which will be produced by U.K.-based VSquared TV Limited. The list includes the BBC in Great Britain, RAI Sports in Italy, NOS in the Netherlands, and French network Canal+. The UCI is in discussions with other networks as well.

Race coverage will also be available on the Internet, which includes the UCI’s YouTube channel.

Cookson, who was elected UCI chief last fall, vowed to improve women’s cycling during his campaign. In addition to the broadcast deal and the Tour de France race, the UCI has created a Women’s Commission and has placed at least one woman on the other UCI Commissions.

The women’s World Cup begins in the Netherlands on Saturday with Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe. The calendar concludes August 30 at France’s GP de Plouay-Bretagne.