Here is the calendar of 2012 men’s pro races, beginning with the UCI World Tour races, the highest-ranked events and I’ve added the road events from the world championships and the Olympic games.
In addition you can download a full calendar of men’s and women’s pro races to import into your organiser, phone, computer and other devices : inrngRaceCalendar.ics. Save the ics / iCal / iCalendar file and you can import it into your electronic diary. One or two clicks and it’s on your iPhone / Outlook etc calendar.
For more on the ranking and classification of races, scroll down.
UCI World Tour, World Championships and Olympic Games
|17-22 Jan||Tour Down Under||AUS|
|4-11 Mar||Paris – Nice||FRA|
|19-25 Mar||Volta Ciclista a Catalunya||ESP|
|23 Mar||E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke||BEL|
|25 Mar||Gent – Wevelgem||BEL|
|1 Apr||Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres||BEL|
|2-7 Apr||Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco||ESP|
|8 Apr||Paris – Roubaix||FRA|
|15 Apr||Amstel Gold Race||NED|
|18 Apr||La Flèche Wallonne||BEL|
|22 Apr||Liège – Bastogne – Liège||BEL|
|24-29 Apr||Tour de Romandie||SUI|
|5-27 May||Giro d’Italia||ITA|
|3-10 Jun||Critérium du Dauphiné||FRA|
|9-17 Jun||Tour de Suisse||SUI|
|30 Jun – 22 Jul||Tour de France||FRA|
|10-16 Jul||Tour de Pologne||POL|
|28 Jul – 1 Aug||Olympic Road Race & Time Trial||GBR|
|6-12 Aug||Eneco Tour||BEL / NED / LUX|
|14 Aug||Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian||ESP|
|18 Aug – 9 Sep||Vuelta a España||ESP|
|19 Aug||Vattenfall Cyclassics||GER|
|26 Aug||GP Ouest France – Plouay||FRA|
|7 Sep||Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec||CAN|
|9 Sep||Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal||CAN|
|16-23 Sep||World Championships||NED|
|29 Sep||Il Lombardia||ITA|
|10-14 Oct||Tour of Beijing||CHN|
As well as these races the UCI has additional calendars of races around the world, for example the UCI Europe Tour which includes prestigious races like the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad or the Strade Bianchi, regular fixtures like the Critérium International or Tour du Limousin as well as less celebrated races like the Turkey’s Tour of Marmara or the Five Rings of Moscow. The UCI America Tour has races like the upcoming Tour de San Luis and the Tour of California in May.
You’ll find the Europe Tour as well as the African, Asian, American, Oceania Tours and more at UCI.ch, just use the drop down menus.
Underpinning all races is a hierarchy of events, each with their own category. First come the World Tour races and the Olympic and World Championships then the so called hors catégorie races with their HC label. Then races are either Class 1 or Class 2.
These classifications are often abbreviated, you might see races labelled as “WT”, “HC” or “1.1 and “2.2″. A one day race is labelled as 1 and then followed by the appropriate suffix, eg WT for a one day World Tour race and HC for a one day HC race, for example Milan-Turin is labelled as 1.HC whilst a smaller race like the Giro del Veneto is 1.1. A stage race is labelled as 2 and the same prefixes are used so the Tour de France is 2.WT, the Tour of Britain is 2.1.
These classes affect the points awarded to riders. Confusingly there are different points awarded according to the calendar of races.
|Tour de France||Giro & Vuelta||Stage Races and One Day Monuments*||One Day Races**|
|*||Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice, Tirreno Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders, Tour of Basque Country, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de Romandie, Tour of Catalonia, Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse, Tour of Poland, Eneco Tour, Il Lombardia, Tour of Beijing|
|**||Gent-Wevelgem, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Classica San Sebastian, Vattenfall Cyclassics, GP Plouay, GP Québec, GP Montreal|
Note points are not awarded for wearing a leaders jersey each day in a stage race. And eyebrows may rise when a win in the Tour Down Under or Tour of Beijing brings in as many points as a win in Paris-Roubaix or Liège-Bastogne-Liège but there’s no debate, it’s a fact of cycling life.
HC, 1, 2 points scale
For HC, Class 1 and Class 2 races outside of the World Tour, the following points scale applies.
|Olympics & Worlds||HC||Class 1||Class 2|
|Overall leader||per day||10||8||4|
In fact the UCI itself uses an additional internal scoring system to rank riders. Because the World Tour and regional tours have different points scales another secret system is used to score riders so that the teams can be assessed for the “sporting value” element of the World Tour selection criteria.
Finally the sport is not about leagues and rankings. The points system is a powerful driver of rider wages and race tactics and a subject that crops up regularly on the blog.
Despite all this the essence of sport is crossing the finish line first.