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UCI Women’s World Tour: What you need to know for 2020

This year the UCI Women’s World Tour comprises of 21 events spread across 10 countries. Starting in Australia and finishing in China, the next 9 months are set to bring some thrilling action as riders compete for both individual wins as well as the overall title.

With 16 one day classics and 5 stage races, the 2020 World Tour series features every nuance of racing a fan could hope for. From the beaches of Melbourne, to the gravelled white roads of Tuscany; from the cobbles of Flanders, to the steep pitches of the Ardennes’ Murs. From the hectic sprints on Chinese highways, to the mountains of the Giro; from Swedish team time trial battles to crosswind action in the Netherlands: there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Voxwomen will be bringing you race previews, event coverage and backstage gossip throughout, so stay tuned for the latest action in women’s cycling.

First up, dates for your diary!

  1. 1st February: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
  2. 7th March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
  3. 15th March: Ronde van Drenthe (The Netherlands)
  4. 22nd March: Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio (Italy)
  5. 26th March: AG Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne (Belgium)
  6. 29th March: Gent – Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)
  7. 5th April: Ronde van Vlaanderen (Belgium)
  8. 19th April: Amstel Gold Race Ladies (The Netherlands)
  9. 22nd April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
  10. 26th April: Liège – Bastogne – Liège (Belgium)
  11. 7th– 9th May: Tour of Chongming Island UCI (China)
  12. 8th– 13th June: OVO Energy Women’s Tour (Great Britain)
  13. 26th June – 5th July: Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile (Italy)
  14. 10th July: La Course by Le Tour de France (France)
  15. 8th August: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden TTT (Sweden)
  16. 9th August: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden RR (Sweden)
  17. 13th – 16th August: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
  18. 22nd August: GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT (France)
  19. 25th – 30th August: Boels Ladies Tour (The Netherlands)
  20. 5th – 6th September: CERATIZIT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (Spain)
  21. 20th October: Tour of Guangxi – UCI Women’s WorldTour (China).

About last year…

Last year saw a total of 12 riders win races while the purple jersey of the World Tour leader changed hands five times. Marta Bastianelli, in the colours of Virtu Pro Cycling, dominated the early spring classics with notable wins at Ronde Van Drenthe and the Tour of Flanders. The 32 year old wore purple for a total of 7 rounds before a knee injury thwarted her mid-season.

It was however, Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott), who stood at the top of the standings for the majority of the year. Victories at Strade Bianche, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro as well as three second places saw the Dutch woman end the season with a total of 1467.67 points. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as compatriot Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), managed to leapfrog her in the latter half of the season. With her third place finish in Guangxi, alongside victories in Trofeo Alfredo Binda, La Course and the Ladies Tour of Norway, Vos managed to clinch the overall title for the first time in her career amassing a substantial 1592 points.

The all Dutch podium was rounded out by the 20 year old Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) who scored 1302.33 points. Wiebes also won the blue jersey as the Best Young Rider and with a total of 7 victories in her first year as a neo pro announced herself as one of the pelotons pre- eminent sprinters.

Meanwhile, in the team classification Boels–Dolmans took their four consecutive titles with a commanding total of 4045 points, finishing well clear of second-place Team Sunweb on 2946 points and the new outfit of Trek–Segafredo team who finished third with 2547.98 points.

5 riders to watch in 2020

1) Annemiek van Vleuten

After covering a staggering 2636km so far this year in training, current road World Champion, van Vleuten is clearly motivated and preparing for a big 2020. The 37 year old, will no doubt be eyeing up a defence of her Strade Bianche title as well as the Ardennes classics, so expect to see her vying for the top spots of the standings early on. Winner of the overall title in 2018 and wearer of the leader’s jersey for 12 rounds last year, we can expect to see her donning purple once again this season.

2) Anna van der Breggen

After three World Tour victories in 2019, Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) is another household name to watch out for. Since the inception of the World Tour in 2016, Van der Breggen has taken the most victories with a total of 13 wins so far. From Fleche Wallonne, to the Giro, to Flanders, van der Breggen’s versatility and consistency means she’s always near the top of the overall standings.

3) Marianne Vos

The defending champion, Vos, has recently undergone surgery to repair a damaged artery and is said to be sidelined for at least 6 weeks. With her focus on recovery, she will have a slow start to the year and is expected to miss the early season races. A delayed start to 2020 could prevent her from accumulating enough World Tour points to defend her title, but the year is long so the late start may just see her finish the season stronger than her rivals. Time and time again Vos has displayed resilience in bouncing back from injury and so she can never be discounted.

4) Katarzyna Niewiadoma

Canyon Sram’s Katarzyna Niewiadoma is another rider who always performs at a consistently high standard throughout the year. After finishing 4th last year in the overall standings, the Polish rider will certainly feature at the top of the rankings again. Keep an eye out for her during the early

season Italian classics as well as during the Ardennes week where she will be looking to defend her Amstel Gold title.

5) Marta Bastianelli

After a sensational start to the year in 2019, Italian national champion, Marta Bastianelli will be looking to repeat her spring classics success with her new team Ale BTC Ljubljana. The Italian has taken 4 world tour wins in her career and will no doubt be looking to build on this tally. After her 7 race stint in the leader’s jersey last year, she’ll be another favourite for having the opportunity to trade her team jersey for purple.

The Young Rider Classification

At just 20 years of age, Lorena Wiebes, is still classified as a young rider and so will certainly be the favourite for the blue jersey. After resolving contract frictions with her team – Parkhotel Valkenburg – the youngster will be looking to replicate the successes she had in 2019. As well as looking to defend her youth classification title she may also have ambitions of upgrading her 3rdplace in the overall standings too.

Team Sunweb have a strong young team and could also feature in the battle of the youth classification. Germany’s Liane Lippert had a fantastic start to the year with a 2nd place overall in the Tour Down Under and is certainly a rider to watch out for. Likewise, teammate Juliette Labous, is another rider who could challenge Wiebes for the overall title. The French woman will be looking to build on the great season she had in 2019 where she won the youth classification at both the Giro Rosa and the Tour of California.

The Countdown begins…

The World Tour series begins in just under 10 days time with the opening round in Geelong, Australia. If the first international race of the year is anything to go by, then we are certainly in for a treat. Stay tuned for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race preview as well as more coverage from the peloton during this Australian block.

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