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Women’s World Cup returns to U.S. with Parx Casino Philly Classic

The Parx Casino Philly Classic will be part of an expanded women's calendar of UCI road races

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The women’s World Cup will return to the United States in 2015 as part of a global push to develop women’s racing, the UCI announced Friday.

The Parx Casino Philly Classic, formerly known as the Liberty Classic, will take place in Philadelphia in June. It will be part of a women’s calendar that will include one-day and multi-day races across Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Oceania.

The news came out of the two-day UCI Women Road World Cup seminar, taking place in Montreux, Switzerland this week, which brought together the major stakeholders in women’s cycling. The UCI used the seminar to lay out its plans for women’s cycling over the next two years.

“We have taken another step in favor of women’s cycling,” said Tracey Gaudry, UCI Vice President and President of the Women’s Commission. “The UCI Women Road World Cup seminar highlighted the progress already accomplished in 2014, which we are going to build on to raise and expand the platform for a new professional series.”

The UCI will continue to focus on increasing the number of televised women’s events in 2015, according to a release. TV coverage was improved dramatically in 2014, with 152 hours of broadcasting largely made possible by investment from the UCI and sponsor The Sufferfest, with a total viewership of about 15 million across 30 channels. The races were followed by nearly 300,000 people on the UCI’s YouTube channel.

Proposals for 2016 include a significant increase in the number of available race days through both one-day Classics and stage races. The increase in racing days would take place under “an improved model, designed to increase the professionalism of our sport,” the release states.

“I thank the organizers for the quality of their contributions, which reflect the growing professionalization of women’s cycling, one of the priorities of my program,” UCI President Brian Cookson said. “I am looking forward to meeting all our partners again in 2015, so that together we can add a new dimension to women’s road cycling.”