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Women’s WorldTour racing shifts into late October

UCI Women's WorldTour: Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) leads the peloton in the Tour of Flanders
UCI Women's WorldTour: Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) leads the peloton in the Tour of Flanders (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The UCI Women's WorldTour has faced multiple event postponements due to COVID-19 with many events filling up the month of October. There are a confirmed five Women's WorldTour events set to end the season, including Paris-Roubaix, The Women's Tour and Ronde van Drenthe.

"It depends on the races you like but the October calendar is good for me because I like Paris-Roubaix. It's hard to say with COVID, and everything, so I try not to think too far ahead and just take the season step-by-step," said Chantal van den Broek-Blaak of SD Worx.

"You can't plan too far head, for example, I was preparing for Paris-Roubaix [in April] and now it's out. It will also depend on how fresh you are at that time of the year, after the Olympic Games, World Championships, some riders might be either tired or excited."

The October schedule of events will give riders more options for competition after the UCI Road World Championships held in Flanders in September 19-26, an event that typically marks a near-end to the season for the women's peloton.

Races that had been postponed from the early-season calendar due to COVID-19 are filling up the vacant spots on the late-season calendar and now include Paris-Roubaix on October 2. The first-ever women's edition of Paris-Roubaix was added to the Women's WorldTour for October 25 in 2020, but was cancelled due to COVID-19. The first edition to be held will now take place this fall after a second cancellation from April of this year.

The Women's Tour will bring the peloton to the UK from October 4-9. This year’s six-day race was originally set to begin in Bicester, Oxfordshire on June 7 and finish with a stage between Haverhill and Felixstowe in Suffolk on June 12, however, organisers were among the first to move their event to October.

Tour of Chongming Island normally marks the first top-tier stage race following the Spring Classics but is now scheduled to take place from October 14-16, directly ahead of the Tour of Guangxi that kept its original date on October 19.

Although the Tour of Guangxi normally brings a close to the Women's WorldTour series, that honour will now shift to the Ronde van Drenthe. The one-day race held in the Netherlands is normally held as part of the Spring Classics but will now take place on October 23, and so far, is the last event on the women's top-tier calendar.

There are also a series of lower-level races held during October to fill out the calendar even more, which include Giro dell'Emilia Internazionale Donne Elite, a 1.Pro event held on October 2 in Italy the same day as the women's Paris-Roubaix. That event is followed by Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli Internazionale Donne Elite, also 1.Pro, on October 3, and Tre Valli Varesine Women's Race, a 1.2 event on October 5. 

In Belgium, the 1.2 Binche Chimay Binche pour Dames will take place on October 5 as well. Vuelta a Colombia a Femenina is a 2.2 event held from September 28 to October 3 in Colombia. 

Near the end of the month, 1.1 Chrono des Nations will take place on October 17 in France. The 1.2 Drentse Acht van Westerveld will be held on October 22, in the Netherlands, the day before the finale at Ronde Van Drenthe. 

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.