A new development in the field of women’s cycling it set to put the sport on the map as soon as 2016, reports claim. It has now been announced that next year will see the introduction of a new event named WorldTour.
Recently, representatives at the UCI Women’s Teams seminar held in Siena discussed the new changes after the inaugural edition of the Strade Bianche event.
The new WorldTour competition will commence in 2016 and take the place of the World Cup, which began recently with the Ronde van Drenthe race. There will be some integral changes to the tournament, including replacing the current 10 one-day races format with one which will include a mix of events such as stage races, making it 30 days in total.
As of yet, no dates have been set for the new races, but representatives have said it is likely that the current World Cup races will remain, though at a different date. The WorldTour program will feature La Course events, the Tour de France and la Vuelta, as well as the aforementioned Strade Bianche.
The new developments are set to change the face of modern day women’s cycling, moving towards the professionalization of the sport which will take place over the next five years. While it has been increasing in popularity as it gains more media coverage, its professionalization is likely to have an impact on a variety of industries – for example, the sports betting industry.
Online betting outlets such as Betting Sports have already capitalized on events like the enduringly popular Tour de France, and now, with support from well-established organizations such as the UCI Women’s Team, it’s likely that they will start taking bets on the WorldTour very soon.
Women’s cycling has been on the up in recent years thanks to endorsements from high profile figures and a series of successful events in the past. The recent 2015 Amgen Tour of California was attended by breast cancer survivor Joan Lunden, who was named the Honorary Breakaway from Cancer Champion as part of a nationwide search to find 10 people who have made a positive impact in their community.
With big names like Amber Neben, a world time trial champion, coming into the spotlight, we should be prepared for a mammoth shift in the way women’s cycling, and indeed women’s sports, are portrayed in the 21st century.