The organisers of the Prudential RideLondon Classique expressed their disappointment at finding out the UCI did not select the event to be part of the 2020 Women's WorldTour. Hugh Brasher, the event director, said that he will re-open discussions with the UCI in hopes it will reconsider adding the one-day race back on the calendar for next year.
"We are extremely disappointed to have been informed that the UCI Management Committee has decided to remove the 2020 Prudential RideLondon Classique from the UCI Women's WorldTour," said Brasher.
"As the committee was aware, we had to move the date of the Prudential RideLondon Classique, as a one-off measure for 2020, to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games."
The UCI announced the 22-race calendar on Wednesday that will see the top-tier series start in Australia at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Two races were noticeably absent: the Prudential RideLondon Classique and Emakumeen Bira. RideLondon moved its race date to avoid conflict with the Olympic Games, but it overlapped with the Ladies Tour of Norway [August 13-16].
The UCI stated in its press release, "The requested change [for RideLondon] means the race would take place during the Ladies Tour of Norway, a well-established event in the leading series of women's professional road cycling which offers television coverage that fully complies with the organisers' specifications.
"The UCI wishes to avoid an overlapping of events that could lead to logistical difficulties for teams wishing to participate in all UCI Women's WorldTour events: this is one of the fundamental principles of the series' calendar. Due to the popularity of the event and the quality of its organisation, the UCI hopes that conditions will allow the Prudential RideLondon Classique to return to the UCI Women’s WorldTour in future years."
Prudential RideLondon Classique offers equal prize money to its Surrey Classic men's event, and has been known for its push for equality among men's and women's cycling since it joined the Women's WorldTour in 2016. Last year, it offered €100,000 for its women's one-day race, and winner Kirsten Wild took home €25,000.
"The Classique has held WorldTour Status since 2016 and is the richest one day women's cycling race," Brasher said. "It was the first Women's WorldTour race to have exactly the same prize money as its men's WorldTour equivalent, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, which takes place on the following day. It is held in the centre of one the world's greatest cities and is broadcast live to a worldwide television audience of millions.
"The Classique is also part of the world's greatest festival of cycling which every year sees more than 100,000 people taking to their bikes on closed roads in London and Surrey.
"We hope for the benefit of women's cycling, where we have led the way in financial parity, that through the discussions I have had in the last 36 hours with David Lappartient, President of the UCI, and Tom van Damme, representing the UCI Management Committee, we will find a way for the UCI to be able to reconsider its decision and restore UCI WorldTour status to the Classique in 2020."
Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.
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