On Thursday, the UCI announced its calendars for the 2018 road season. The sport's governing body also revealed the mountain bike, 'cross and BMX calendars for the new year.
There are no new men's WorldTour races in 2018 although the Women's WorldTour calendar has been expanded with the introduction of the Driedaagse De Panne in March, Emakumeen XXX. Bira in May, and the Tour of Guangxi Women's WorldTour race in October.
The men's WorldTour calendar will again start in January with the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia, moving to the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Tour in February. The Abu Dhabi Tour has expanded to five stages from 2018 while the Tour of Qatar will not return in 2018 after being cancelled in 2017. The first European WorldTour race is the season is Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 25.
The one-day clash between the end of Paris-Nice and start of Tirreno-Adriatico continues in 2018, as does the overlap between the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de Suisse. In 2018 the final day of the Tour de France will clash with RideLondon which had previously been held the week after the French Grand Tour.
The calendar though is largely similar to 2017 with the Tour of Guangxi to close out the season. The Tour of Turkey remains on the calendar and will retain its October position having previously been held in April.
There are also several new races on the road calendar at the lower 2.1 and 1.1 levels and races that made the jump from the 2.2 and 2.1 categories. The Tour of Croatia and Tour des Fjords are the only races to move from 2.1 to the higher 2.HC status.
The Tour of Indonesia returns to the calendar in January at 2.1 status while the Vuelta a Colombia is renamed the Colombia Oro y Paz and will move to February from August. It will also be run at 2.1 level from 2018.
The Vuelta Aragón, last held in 2005, returns to the calendar in May, while the Tour of South Africa, and Hammer Series races in Stavanger and Zagreb are new for 2018. The Deutschland Tour also makes it long-awaited return to the calendar in 2018 and will be held in late-August.
At the 1.1 level, the are several new races listed on the UCI's calendar from 2018. The first of those if the Desert Pearl in Bahrain listed for February 3. In the Middle East, the Baku-Khizi Eco race on May 8 is another new listed race. In the United States, the first edition of the Independence Cycling Classic is set to take place July 3 with a men's and women's race. The Great War Remembrance Race on August 24 is another new addition with the organisers paying tribute to the Frist World War
The road calendar is subject to change before the 2018 season gets underway
Expanded women's calendar from 2018
Along with the addition of new WorldTour events, the women's calendar for 2018 features several upgraded races and new events. Starting in Australia, the Santos Women's Tour becomes a 2.1 race in January while a two-day 2.2 Women's Herald Sun Tour makes its debut. There is no change to the status of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race which will be held between the two stage races.
The 100 Cycle Challenge in South Africa and the Independence Cycling Classic are also new events for 2018.
La Course by le Tour de France is currently listed as a one-day event, as is the Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta despite La Course being a two-day event in 2017 and Vuelta race director Javier Guillén suggesting the Spanish race could become multi-day. There is expansion for the Women's Tour of Yorkshire, moving from one day to two days in 2018.
Like the men's calendar, the 2018 women's road calendar is expected to undergo further change and updates ahead of the new season.
2017 UCI WorldTour calendar
16-21 January: Santos Tour Down Under (Australia)
28 January: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
21-25 February: Abu Dhabi Tour (United Arab Emirates)
24 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
3 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
4-11 March: Paris-Nice (France)
7-13 March: Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy)
17 March: Milano-Sanremo (Italy)
19-25 March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain)
23 March: Record Bank E3 Harelbeke (Belgium)
25 March: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)
28 March: Dwars Door Vlaanderen / A travers la Flandre (Belgium)
1 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres (Belgium)
2-7 April: Vuelta al País Vasco (Spain)
8 April: Paris-Roubaix (France)
15 April: Amstel Gold Race (Netherlands)
18 April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
22 April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)
24-29 April: Tour de Romandie (Switzerland)
1 May: Eschborn-Frankfurt « Rund um den Finanzplatz » (Germany)
5-27 May: Giro d’Italia (Italy)
13-19 May: Amgen Tour of California (United States)
3-10 June: Critérium du Dauphiné (France)
9-17 June: Tour de Suisse (Switzerland)
7-29 July: Tour de France (France)
29 July: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)
4 August: Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian (Spain)
4-10 August: Tour de Pologne (Poland)
13-19 August: BinckBank Tour (Benelux)
19 August: Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany)
25 August-16 September: Vuelta a España (Spain)
26 August: Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France (France)
7 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Canada)
9 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada)
9-14 October: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey)
13 October: Il Lombardia (Italy)
16-21 October: Tour of Guangxi (China)
2017 UCI Women's WorldTour calendar
3 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
11 March: Ronde Van Drenthe (the Netherlands)
18 March: Trofeo Binda (Italy)
22 March: Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (Belgium)
25 March: Gent Wevelgem (Belgium)
1 April: Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
15 April: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)
18 April: Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
22 April: Liège – Bastogne – Liège (Belgium)
26-28 April: Tour of Chongming Island (China)
10-13 May: Amgen Tour of California (USA)
19-22 May: Emakumeen XXXI. Bira (Spain)
13-17 June: Ovo Energy Women's Tour (Great Britain)
6-15 July: Giro Rosa (Italy)
17 July: La Course by Le Tour de France (France)
28 July: Prudential Ride London (Great Britain)
10 August: Vargarda TTT (Sweden)
12 August: Vargarda Road Race (Sweden)
16-19 August: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
25 August: GP Plouay (France)
28 August-2 September: Boels Rental Ladies Tour (Netherlands)
16 September: Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (Spain)
21 October: Tour of Guangxi Women's (China)