RideLondon Classique stripped of WorldTour status for limited live TV
'It is, first and foremost, an unacceptable lack of respect for the teams and riders involved in the competition' says UCI
The UCI has temporarily reclassified the RideLondon Classique as a ProSeries race after event organisers did not provide the required live TV coverage of each stage, but only of the last stage.
The RideLondon Classique, which has occupied a spot on the Women’s WorldTour since the competition’s inception in 2016 with the exception of the 2020 edition that was cancelled, expanded to three stages last year after it had previously established itself as a one-day race.
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) won all three stages and the general classification but only her victory on the last day following a circuit race around London was broadcast live.
UCI regulations stipulate that a minimum of 45 minutes of live coverage per day must be available for an event to be considered part of the WorldTour. The organisers’ failure to provide this constituted “an unacceptable lack of respect for the teams and riders involved in the competition,” a statement from the UCI said.
Consequently, RideLondon Classique’s status as a WorldTour race for the 2023 season will be conditional upon “the presentation of firm commitments concerning the live TV broadcasting of all stages.” A final decision upon the race will be taken in September.
Last season, the Giro Rosa became a ProSeries race after its organisers also failed to provide live coverage in 2020. Accompanied by the promise of extended live images, it will mark its return to the WorldTour when the peloton sets out from Sardinia at the end of June.
The UK’s other premier women’s race, The Women’s Tour, was also in danger of a similar fate earlier this month after it was unable to offer a live broadcast in 2021 and announced its difficulties in securing a sponsor to fund live pictures this year. Five days before the race, however, it confirmed that it would offer a live stream of the event.
“The daily live coverage of the UCI Women’s WorldTour events, which include the most prestigious races in women’s professional road cycling, is fundamental to ensure its continued international development,” the UCI’s statement added.
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Issy Ronald has just graduated from the London School of Economics where she studied for an undergraduate and masters degree in History and International Relations. Since doing an internship at Procycling magazine, she has written reports for races like the Tour of Britain, Bretagne Classic and World Championships, as well as news items, recaps of the general classification at the Grand Tours and some features for Cyclingnews. Away from cycling, she enjoys reading, attempting to bake, going to the theatre and watching a probably unhealthy amount of live sport.