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UCI introduces new racing series for amateurs

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The sun's not been up all that long but the Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia - Dolomiti Stars is ready to go

The sun's not been up all that long but the Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia - Dolomiti Stars is ready to go (Image credit: Ben Atkins/Cyclingnews.com)
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The peloton heads into the mountains.

The peloton heads into the mountains. (Image credit: Mark Sharon and friends)

The International Cycling Union has introduced a new series of races for amateur riders, the UCI World Cycling Tour. The series of international races will end with world championships and rainbow jerseys.

The UCI's new series will be made of 15 qualifying events, UCI-sanctioned races held in different international locations. The top 10 percent of each age group will automatically qualify for the UWCT Final Race (formerly called the UCI Masters Road World Championship), with the winners being awarded rainbow jerseys.

“If we look at cycling as a pyramid, professional racing is at the very top and occupies a very small portion. Everything that comes below this is the amateur side of the sport and involves impressive numbers of riders," said Andrea Marcellini Mendonca, the UCI's Cycling for All, Masters and Sustainable Development Coordinator. “These enthusiasts are part of the UCI family and it’s time for them to race for a World Champion title”.

The new series of races will also help promote the UCI's “Cycling for All” events. The UCI is now accepting applications from around the world to organize the races, which must meet strict organizational and sporting criteria, as well providing a touristic interest.