The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will be part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2020, becoming the first in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.

Having previously been sanctioned as a UCI 1.1 classification, today’s announcement marks a significant moment for cycling in Australia and for women’s sport.

The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will open the 2020 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, before the competition travels across Europe, China and the United States of America.

2020 will be the sixth edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the first with both the Elite Men’s and Women’s races featured on the UCI WorldTour Calendar.

A long-time supporter of equal opportunity for riders across the two elite races, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will offer equal prize money for both the Elite Men’s and Women’s races, as well as for Towards Zero Race Torquay.

Staging Men’s and Women’s UCI WorldTour events will also attract a stronger field of elite teams and riders, further heightening the profile, scale and stature of the event as well as the Geelong and Surf Coast regions.

The Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will feature an exciting weekend of cycling on Saturday 1 February, alongside Towards Zero Race Torquay, the Family Ride, Swisse People’s Ride and the Elite Men’s Race taking place from Thursday 30 January to Sunday 2 February.

Securing UCI Women’s WorldTour status reinforces the event’s and the Victorian Government’s commitment to be a leader in women’s sport.

Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Marlene Kairouz welcomed the significant announcement.

“Women’s sport is absolutely booming in Australia – whether it be Ash Barty, Hannah Green or Sally Fitzgibbons, women are kicking goals in every field and we look forward to seeing our best cyclists out on the road.”

Tracey Gaudry, Member of the UCI Management Committee and President of the UCI Women’s Commission, said the Deakin University Elite Women’s road race would open the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar in 2020.

“The elevation of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race to UCI Women’s WorldTour status is in recognition by the UCI of the exceptional standard and promotion of the event since its inception,” Gaudry said.

“The 2020 Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race will become the inaugural event of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour, the highest series of professional women’s cycling in the world.”

Deakin University has also reaffirmed its commitment to women’s sport by returning as naming rights sponsor of the race for the next three years.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO said the University was delighted to continue its partnership with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, through its support of the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race.

“We are passionate about supporting women to achieve their goals and that’s why we support the Deakin University Elite Women’s Road Race, because this event strongly aligns with our commitment to inspire women to achieve at the highest possible level in whatever they choose to do,” Professor den Hollander said.

“We are also committed to supporting the communities we serve and I cannot think of a better example of how we do this than through this important event, which shows perfectly how sport and education can bring the wider community together. It is thrilling that its value has been recognised by becoming part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.”

cadelevansgreatoceanroadrace.com.au

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