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Guide to the WorldTour

About the UCI Women's WorldTour

‘Stages’, ‘seasons’, ‘elite’, ‘Classique’… It all sounds a bit serious, doesn’t it? Well, fear not – the RideLondon Classique, part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, is nothing to shy away from! Rather, it’s an amazing spectacle that displays women’s cycling at its best, for everyone to watch and enjoy – no matter what your background in the sport. Let us give you the low-down…

What is it?

Let’s start with basics – what even is the UCI Women’s WorldTour? Founded in 2016, the UCI Women’s WorldTour is a collection of the highest level of elite road races in the world and the new RideLondon Classique is one of them! The races are split between one-day races and stage races:

  • As the name suggests, one-day races involve one route, on one single day, where the first person across the line wins! (Football fans, think the knockout rounds of a cup competition – winner takes all.)
  • Also known as tours, stage races take place across multiple days – anywhere from three days to three weeks. A race takes place every day within that period (bar rest days), with a winner crowned every day. But, the overall winner of the tour is the rider who has the quickest accumulative time across all the stages – similar to a domestic league in other sports with the accumulation of points!

    Are you still with us? OK – great! The races within the tour are called ‘Stages’ and the overall victory is referred to as the ‘General Classification’, or simply the ‘Overall’. Some riders will ride specifically with the General Classification in mind, while others will just be on the hunt for Stage wins and less concerned about performing well on all the days.

Both types of races can be great fun to watch, with stage races having multiple storylines and one-day races being a straight shoot-out first to the finish. Every rider will accumulate UCI WorldTour points in each race they participate in, depending on where they finish. The leader of UCI WorldTour will wear a leader’s jersey – so look out for that!

Where does the Ford RideLondon Classique fit in?

We know the Ford RideLondon Classique is part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar. But where does it slot into the women’s pro race schedule?

The 2023 UCI Women’s WorldTour kicked off in January with the Women’s Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. It then moved to the United Arab Emirates for the UAE Tour in February ahead of the European spring one-day race season, which includes Classics such as Strade Bianchi, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, La Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The stage racing season then begins in earnest in May with three races in Spain, including the La Vuelta Femenina, before the world’s best riders come to the UK for the Ford RideLondon Classique (26-28 May).

The UCI Women’s WorldTour stays in the UK after Ford RideLondon for the Women’s Tour (5-10 June), before the summer brings the Giro d’Italia Donne and Tour de France Femmes.

The WorldTour concludes in China in October with the Tour of Chongming Island and Tour of Guangxi.

2023 UCI Women’s WorldTour

  • 15-17 January: Women's Tour Down Under (Australia)
  • 28 January: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
  • 9-12 February: UAE Tour (United Arab Emirates)
  • 25 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
  • 4 March: Strade Bianche Donne (Italy)
  • 11 March: Ronde van Drenthe (Netherlands)
  • 19 March: Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio (Italy)
  • 23 March: Classic Brugge–De Panne (Belgium)
  • 26 March: Gent–Wevelgem (Belgium)
  • 2 April: Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
  • 8 April: Paris–Roubaix Femmes (France)
  • 16 April: Amstel Gold Race (Netherlands)
  • 19 April: La Flèche Wallonne Féminine (Belgium)
  • 23 April: Liège–Bastogne–Liège Femmes (Belgium)
  • 1-7 May: La Vuelta Femenina (Spain)
  • 12-14 May: Itzulia Women (Spain)
  • 18-21 May: Vuelta a Burgos Feminas (Spain)
  • 26-28 May: Ford RideLondon Classique (UK)
  • 5-10 June: The Women's Tour (UK)
  • 17-20 June: Tour de Suisse Women (Switzerland)
  • 30 June-9 July: Giro d'Italia Donne (Italy)
  • 23-30 July: Tour de France Femmes (France)
  • 22-27 August: Tour of Scandinavia (Norway/Denmark/Sweden)
  • 2 September: Classic Lorient Agglomération–Trophée Ceratizit (France)
  • 5-10 September: Simac Ladies Tour (Netherlands)
  • 15-17 September: Tour de Romandie Féminin (Switzerland)
  • 12-14 October: Tour of Chongming Island (China)
  • 17 October: Tour of Guangxi (China)

A brief history of the Classique

The Ford RideLondon Classique has been a key part of RideLondon since the festival launched in 2013 as a legacy event from the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Classique started life as a one-day race held each year on a Saturday evening in London, taking in a 5.5km circuit that started and finished on The Mall, and was added to the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2016.

The first RideLondon Classique in 2013 was won by decorated British track and road cycling legend Laura Kenny (need we say more?) and has continued to grow as a pro cycling spectacle over subsequent years. 

Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild secured wins in both 2016 and 2018 while other winners include Giorgia Bronzini (ITA, 2014), Barbara Guarischi (ITA, 2015), Coryn Labecki (USA, 2017) and Lorena Wiebes (NED, 2019).

In 2022 – after being a casualty to Covid restrictions in both 2020 and 2021 – the RideLondon Classique returned in a new three-day stage format. Wiebes, the 2019 champion, returned and swept all before her, winning all three stages and the overall general classification.