RideLondon Classic one of 21 applicants for WorldTour status in 2017

The UCI have confirmed the 1.HC RideLondon Classic was one of 21 race to apply for WorldTour status. There are 27 events on the 2016 WorldTour calendar. If successful, the one-day race would become the first British race to join he top-tier events of men's road racing. The women's Prudential Ride London Grand Prix is part of the inaugural Women's WorldTour for 2016 that starts Saturday with the Strade Bianche Women.

"We are delighted that, in what would be only its fifth year, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic could win World Tour status," Event Director Hugh Brasher said of the event which started with 1.2 status. "It is a huge tribute to Race Director Mick Bennett and the team that the race is already at this level and we thank British Cycling for their support. We look forward to welcoming the UCI to London and Surrey in July."

The first edition of the RideLondon Classic was won by Mark Cavendish in 2011 with BMC's Jempy Drucker winning the 2015 edition of the race. The 2016 RideLondon Classic will be held on July 31, starting and finishing on The Mall.

UCI president Brian Cookson backed the application by the RideLondon Classic to acquire WorldTour status from 2017.

"We strongly believe that with the reform of men's professional road cycling there is a great opportunity to grow the UCI World Tour with a number of new events, and create an environment where new investment can come into the sport," UCI president Brian Cookson said.

"We are delighted to welcome such strong interest from around the world for the 2017 UCI World Tour and beyond and the fact that we have had so many applications from four continents is testament to the growing strength of the UCI World Tour brand," Cookson added of interest in the 2017 WorldTour.

The Tour de Yorkshire, one of the UK's main stage races along with the The Tour of Britain, is also aiming to join the WorldTour ranks in the future, although race organiser Gary Verity recently told Cyclingnews his more immediate concern is adding a fourth day to the event. 

The UCI will award three-year WorldTour licences to races and teams from 2017 as part of its reform of men’s professional cycling. The 21 candidates for WorldTour status from next season are spread across four continents, although the UCI are yet to divulge further information regarding which countries applied. Tour de France organiser ASO refuses to accept the reforms and will register its events next season at the level below WorldTour, HC.

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