The UCI announced an expanded WorldTour calendar for 2017, with 10 new events including the Amgen Tour of California, Tour of Qatar, Abu Dhabi Tour and Tour of Turkey, and one-day races Dwars door Vlaanderen, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Prudential RideLondon, Eschborn-Frankfurt and Strade Bianche.
The UCI was able to include three-year licences to every WorldTour event after long and contentious negotiations with the Tour de France organisers ASO, but next year will see a reduction in WorldTour teams to 17, with further reductions to 16 for 2019 and beyond.
"The publication of this new calendar is an important step in the development of men’s professional road cycling," UCI President Brian Cookson said. "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."
The season begins again with the Tour Down Under from January 17-22, followed by the Great Ocean Road Race on January 29 before heading to its newest races in Qatar and Dubai.
The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad overlaps with Dubai, however, as the UCI continues to have conflicting WorldTour events rather than separate them further on the calendar.
Strade Bianche comes on March 4, one day before the start of Paris Nice (March 5-12), which still overlaps with Tirreno-Adriatico (March 8-14). Dwars door Vlaanderen (March 22), E3 Harelbeke (March 24) and Gent-Wevelgem (March 26), during the Volta a Catalunya (March 20-26). The Tour of Flanders (April 2) and Paris-Roubaix (April 9) bookend the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (April 3-8).
The Amstel Gold Race (April 16), Flèche Wallonne (April 19) and Liège - Bastogne - Liège (April 23) complete the Spring Classics, but overlap with the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (April 18-23). The Tour of Turkey is touted as a race that "further reflects the globalisation of the sport", but this year it lost the participation of many top teams due to security concerns over the escalating conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Eschborn-Frankfurt takes place on May 1 before the Giro d'Italia (May 6-28), again overlapping with Tour of California.
The American race has long been expected to join the WorldTour, but concerns over the race's importance to the regional Continental teams delayed its inclusion. WorldTour events have historically been required to invite all WorldTour teams, but the UCI announced earlier this year that new events for 2017 would be allowed to invite a minimum of 10 WorldTour teams.
After the Giro d'Italia, the WorldTour continues with the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Tour de France. Followed directly by the Clasica San Sebastian and Prudential RideLondon, both of which overlap with the start of Tour de Pologne (July 29-August 4).
2017 UCI WorldTour calendar concludes with the Eneco Tour, Vuelta a España, Cyclassics Hamburg, Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France, GP Québec and Montréal, and Il Lombardia.
Starting next year, all existing UCI WordTour events will have all UCI WorldTeams participating. However, for the new UCI WorldTour events, participation rules that will ensure that a minimum of 10 UCI WorldTeams take part will be proposed by the UCI for approval at the next meeting of the PCC.
2017 UCI WorldTour Calendar
- 17-22 January: Santos Tour Down Under (Australia)
- 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)*
- 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)
- 22 March: Dwars Door Vlaanderen / A travers la Flandre (Belgium)*
- 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)
- 18-23 April: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey)*
- 19 April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
- 23 April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)
- 25-30 April: Tour de Romandie (Switzerland)
- 1 May: Eschborn-Frankfurt « Rund um den Finanzplatz » (Germany)*
- 6-28 May: Giro d’Italia (Italy)
- 14-21 May: Amgen Tour of California (United States)*
- 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)
- 30 July: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)*
- 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)
* new WorldTour race for 2017