The women's road World Cup will return to the United States in 2015 for the first time in fourteen years following the addition of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic to the calendar. The Philadelphia race, formerly known as the Liberty Classic, was part of the first four World Cup series but has not been on the schedule since 2001.
The inclusion of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, which takes place June 7, means that the women’s World Cup expands to ten races for the first time since 2009. The series gets underway on March 14 with the Ronde van Drenthe and concludes on August 29 with the GP de Plouay-Bretagne after rounds in Italy, Belgium, China, Germany and Sweden.
The UCI has also revealed that the World Cup series will be revamped further for 2016, and will include both stage races and one-day races, like the men’s WorldTour, with the aim of increasing the amount of racing days on the calendar.
The announcement follows the UCI Women Road World Cup seminar, which was held in Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
“I would like to emphasise the remarkable mindset which we saw during the UCI Women Road World Cup Seminar. I thank the organisers for the quality of their contributions, which reflect the growing professionalization of women’s cycling, one of the priorities of my programme,” UCI president Brian Cookson said in a statement. “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.”
The development of women’s cycling was among Cookson’s pledges when he ran for election of president of the UCI last year. Although he has rowed back on a commitment to deliver a minimum wage, his first year in office did see the establishment of a women’s commission, headed by UCI vice-president Tracey Gaudry. The Australian welcomed the plan to expand the existing World Cup series.
“We have taken another step in favour of women’s cycling,” Gaudry said. "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. I am proud to see that the UCI and its partners are finding concrete solutions to develop women’s cycling.”
The 2014 World Cup was won by Lizzie Armitstead, who led the series from start to finish after winning the Ronde van Drenthe. Emma Johansson took second place ahead of Marianne Vos.
UCI Women Road World Cup – 2015 calendar
March 14: Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe
March 29: Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio, Italy
April 5: Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, Belgium
April 22: La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, Belgium
May 17: Tour of Chongming Island World Cup, China
June 7: The Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, USA
August 2: Sparkassen Giro, Germany
August 21: Open de Suède Vargarda TTT, Sweden
August 23: Open de Suède Vargarda, Sweden
August 29: GP de Plouay-Bretagne, France