The build up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio has begun, and gathering important UCI points toward qualifying the maximum available athlete allocations will be easier for women in North America in the coming season: the UCI published the 2015 road calendar, which includes seven ranked races for elite women, including three stage races - up from just four one-day races in 2014.
The Joe Martin Stage Race will be ranked 2.2 for women, as will the Tour of the Gila. The new Amgen Tour of California stage race, a three-day event, will be ranked 2.1.
There will be four one-day events in North America in 2015: The Winston-Salem Classic returns as a 1.2-ranked event, as does the Canadian White Spot/Delta Road Race. The Chrono Gatineau and Grand Prix Cycliste de Gatineau will be ranked 1.1 and the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic will be part of the re-branded women's World Cup, to be known as the Women’s Professional Road Cycling Series in 2015.
It will be the first Women's UCI World Cup to be held in North America since the Montreal World Cup ended in 2009, and the first in Philadelphia since the Liberty Classic was last part of the World Cup in 2001.
The new women's event to be held in conjunction with the USA Pro Challenge men's event in Colorado is not currently on the calendar of UCI-ranked races.
Athlete allocations for the Olympic Games road cycling events are awarded on the basis of the UCI nations rankings as of May 31, 2016. The top five nations earn 4 riders in the women's road race. The top 15 nations earn 1 spot each in the women's time trial. The top 10 in the 2015 UCI Road World Championships time trial in Richmond, Virginia will also earn 1 spot for their country.
The final allocations will be confirmed in June, 2016, with the final entries for Rio due on July 18, 2016.