Ask RIDE…Can amateurs earn a rainbow jersey again?

I am a 42 year-old racer (Masters 3) and heard about a new series called the World Tour but I thought this was just for the professionals. Can you tell me more?

Cheers, Paul.

Hi Paul, what you have heard is true. Amateur cyclists can once again earn a coveted UCI rainbow jersey. Launched in 2011, the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) is a series of events for amateurs. There are qualifying events around the world where riders can obtain a place to participate in the UWCT Final or if you like, world championships, where the world title for respective age groups will be awarded.

The confusion is understandable sincethe UCI already has a World Tour, the UCI WorldTour (former ProTour), and although it carries a similar name it is entirely separate from the professional circuit. The UCI wants devoted amateur cyclists to get a taste of high level racing and ultimately race for a world champion title. The UWCT is a chance to take amateur cycling to the next level.

The UWCT will comprise of seven races in 2011 with events in Australia (Perth), New York, Portugal, Slovenia, Belgium, USA and Switzerland.

The best from each age group in the qualifier events will automatically have the right to compete in the UWCT Final. In 2011, the region of Liège, in Belgium, is proud to host the World Championships, which will take place during the weekend of 10 September 2011. Since the World Championships start on 19 September in Copenhagen, Denmark, you could win the amateur rainbow jersey and then watch the professional equivalent be awarded two weeks later.

Perth has been named the host city for the first ever World Cycling Tour (UWCT) qualifying event. The “Festival” commences on Thursday 14 April 2011 with a 20km time trial at Rottnest Island followed by a 115km road race. The road circuit will be held around the city of Perth inside Kings Park on Saturday 16 April 2011. If that isn’t enough, on Sunday 17 April 2011, you can participate in the iconic 5 Dams Challenge which is a two person-team timed event with over 2,000m of climbing. It starts and finishes in the Perth CBD. Cyclists can either do the Five Dams Challenge of 234kms or the Three Dams Challenge of 146km.

Bicycling Western Australia (BWA) are the event managers for the above events. BWA are the largest and most dominant cycling organisation for bike riders in Western Australia with over 9,000 members growing steadily. BWA has been running highly successful events for the past seven years, their most popular being the Cyclo Sportif Series of participation events. These events usually five or six a year, attract anywhere from 500 to 1000 cyclists.

uwct

Sue.

Sue Johnston is the General Manager for Bicycling Western Australia

bwa.org.au

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