Thor Hushovd and Cadel Evans won the UCI World Road Championships in 2010 and 2009 respectively, and now amateur cyclists have a chance to follow them to the rainbow jersey with the creation of the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT), a new cycling tour that will result in the creation of age group World Champions.
The UWCT will comprise a series of up to 15 races sanctioned by the UCI that will take place around the world, and which will act as qualifying races for the UWCT Final, formerly the UCI Masters Road World Championships.
That race will be contested by the top 10% of finishers in each age group from the qualifier events, who will race for the right to wear the rainbow jersey.
The UCI’s Cycling for All, Masters and Sustainable Development Coordinator, Ms Andrea Marcellini Mendonça, explains the importance of this amateur tour: “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. These enthusiasts are part of the UCI family and it’s time for them to race for a World Champion title”.
The UWCT is also designed to help publicise the UCI’s “Cycling for All” events at international level and the governing body says that all races on the new tour will need to meet “strict organisational and sporting criteria, and provide a certain touristic interest.”
There’s no news as yet on what those specific events might be, with the UCI saying only that “In order to host the qualifier events of the UWCT, the UCI is currently receiving applications from regions willing to organise a high standard cycling event that will attract riders from all over the world.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.