The Road World Cup
Go to the calendar page, select 2014, and select women's World Cup from the drop-down menu
The World Cup is back up to nine rounds for 2014 - starting with the four Spring Classic races:
- Ronde van Drenthe (15th March)
- Trofeo Alfredo Binda (30th March)
- Ronde van Vlaanderen (6th April)
- Flèche Wallonne (23rd April)
- then over to China for the Tour of ChongMing Island (18th May)
- the new World Cup, the Sparkassen Giro (3rd August)
- the Open de Suède Vårgårda TTT and Road Race (22nd & 24th August)
and finishing at the GP de Plouay (30th August)
Sparkassen Giro is a race that's been around for a while, on and off the UCI calendar and now up to World Cup status. It's a TOUGH race, often held in torrential rain - another one for the sprinters. It's another race like Plouay, part of a festival of cycling, with races for everyone from tiny kids to the pros. It's lovely to have a German World Cup back again - and it's interesting, the World Cup was weighted towards Classics riders, this will make the sprinters happy.
UPDATE! There are more changes to the World Cup, with more jerseys (including a Best Young Rider classification, and a shake-up to the points system. There's a UCI video explaining it here:
The rest of the calendar
Go to the calendar page, select 2014, and select Women Elite from the drop-down menu
Tour Feminino San Luis, 2.2 14th-18th January, Argentina
Looks like it's a brand-new women's edition of the men's race
Ronde van Overijssel,1.1, 2nd May, Netherlands
The men's race has been going for 63 years, and now there's a women's race
The Women's Tour, 2.1, 7th-11th May, UK
The biggest new race is The Women's Tour, the new UK tour set up by Sweet Spot, who run the Tour of Britain and the Tour Series. They're not allowed to call it the Women's Tour of Britain at the moment, because the ToB name is owned by British Cycling. This race will run 7th-11th May, at 2.1 status, and it'll be in the East Midlands and East Anglia. can't wait to see where it goes!
Trofee Maarten Wynants,1.2, 10th May, Belgium
A men's race has run for seven editions - now there's a women's race too!
BeNe Ladies Tour, 2.2 19th-20th July, Belgium
All I know is it's 2 days and the website will be here
Existing Races given UCI status for 2014
These races have been running, but have stepped up for the new season
Gent-Wevelgem, 1.2, 30th March, Belgium
Winston Salem Cycling Classic, 1.2, 17th April, USA
Grand Prix de Plumelec-Morbihan Dames, 1.2, 31st May, France
This is part of the Coupe de France series
Auensteiner- Radsporttage, 2.2, 31st May-1st June, Germany
It was a national-level race in 2011, and didn't run this year and last year, but it's back, and bigger!
White Spot / Delta Road Race, 1.2, 6th June, Canada
A lost race returned!
Ster Zeeuwsche Eilanden, 1.2, 6th-8th June, Netherlands
One of those races with great social media, it had to cancel this year after Rabobank pulled their funding, so I'm really glad it's back. It's flat and windy, a really tough Dutch race in an extraordinary part of the world
More Good news!
Tour de Languedoc Roussillon, 2.2, France
No surprise here, this was a complete debacle this year, after cancelling with a few weeks to go last year, so I can't see much of the peloton trusting it if it ran again.
The Giro della Toscana, .HC, Italy
The organisers have lived up to their threat and pulled the Giro della Toscana, in retaliation for riders refusing to ride the final stage this year. I hope this changes before the season starts - but ultimately, with both these races, if it's a choice between one less race, or a chaotic and dangerous one, it's better to keep the riders safe. I hope this changes and it comes back stronger.
This year a new category of ".HC" was introduced as the highest category of races, but it was a bit of a kiss of death, as the Exergy Tour was cancelled, Thüringen downgraded, and the Giro Toscana was chaotic, so I don't know what to think about it disappearing for 2014. I do think there need to be more than 3 levels of women's races, but I don't think the UCI had really thought through what HC meant, beyond costing more and giving out more points.
UPDATE! As Civetta points out, the Golan races are still on the calendar for 2014... The UCI is always optimistic about racing in Syria, but I can't see these happening.
UPDATE! As Karl Lima points out, it's a real shame that the European u23 and junior Championships clash with the Giro Donne. It's a shame the young riders have to decide between the Euros and fighting for Best Young Rider at the biggest stage race of the year.
UPDATE! if you want to see how the 2013 calendar changed, and how 2014 is different, I've got a post of facts, charts and stats!
It's likely there are lots of things I've missed, so please please tell me anything else that catches your eye. As I say, all this could be subject to change over the coming year.