Women’s Tour organiser “absolutely delighted” with 2.1 UCI status
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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Women’s Tour organiser “absolutely delighted” with 2.1 UCI status

by Ben Atkins at 9:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
British race shares ranking with non-upgraded Men’s equivalent

lizzie armitsteadRace organiser SweetSpot has declared itself “absolutely delighted” with the International Cycling Union (UCI) 2.1 rating awarded to the first ever edition of the “Women’s Tour” in 2014. The five-day British race, which will be the women’s equivalent of the Tour of Britain - but will not be using that name due to copyright restrictions - which SweetSpot also organises.

"We are absolutely delighted that the UCI have awarded us 2.1 status for this exciting new event,” said SweetSpot director Guy Elliott.

A 2.1 rating will take the new British race up alongside top events like the Giro Rosa, the Emakumeen Euskal Bira, the Thüringen-Rundfahrt and the Route de France, which should ensure that the World’s top riders will be present. With the Giro della Toscana looking unlikely to run in 2014, it is unlikely that there will be any races with 2.HC status on the calendar.

"Our first stage, including the Grand Depart, will be based entirely in Northamptonshire, which is a fantastic county for racing and will the first time that Northamptonshire has hosted a major Tour. The stage will be a challenging test for all riders on a beautiful and challenging route of opening day of the race, with plans to pass through many of the county's towns and villages.

"We are particularly pleased about Northamptonshire's plans to use the event to promote women's sport in its widest context to young people.”

Locations have yet to be announced for the remaining four stages, but the Women’s Tour is set to take place entirely in the East Midlands and East Anglia.

"This is fantastic news for Northamptonshire and I am very pleased that we will be hosting the first stage of this prestigious event,” said Deputy leader for Northamptonshire County Council Councillor Heather Smith. "Not only will The Women's Tour bring significant economic benefits to the county, it is also a real opportunity to promote cycling and women's sport locally.

"We want to use this event to encourage everyone in Northamptonshire, and in particular the county's young people, to get cycling and improve their health and wellbeing. This will be a very exciting event for Northamptonshire and will herald the start of a summer of sporting events across the whole county that everyone can look forward to.”

The top status achieved by the Women’s Tour is in contrast to the equivalent men’s Tour of Britain, which was denied its application for 2.HC status - the top status for a stage race outside the WorldTour - in a decision that left SweetSpot “disappointed.” Like the women’s race, the men’s event will be 2.1 ranked again in 2014, for a tenth straight year.

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