2012 Race Calendar

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

World Tour + Olympics

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’ll find the categorisation and points system behind the races explained.

EDIT: a helpful reader has put these races into a Google calendar and there is also an .ics file which can be downloaded and imported, for example with Microsoft Outlook, Apple iPhone or Lotus Notes. See here for more.

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
7-13 Mar Tirreno-Adriatico ITA
17 Mar Milano-Sanremo ITA
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.

World Tour points scale
The World Tour is separate and riders on World Tour squads earn points on the following basis:

Tour de France Giro & Vuelta Stage Races and One Day Monuments* One Day Races**
1 200 170 100 80
2 150 130 80 60
3 120 100 70 50
4 110 90 60 40
5 100 80 50 30
6 90 70 40 22
7 80 60 30 14
8 70 52 20 10
9 60 44 10 6
10 50 38 4 2
11 40 32
12 30 26
13 24 22
14 20 18
15 16 14
16 12 10
17 10 8
18 8 6
19 6 4
20 4 2
Stage wins
1 20 16 6
2 10 8 4
3 6 4 2
4 4 2 1
5 2 1 1
* 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
1 200 100 80 40
2 170 70 56 30
3 140 40 32 16
4 130 30 24 12
5 120 25 20 10
6 110 15 16 8
7 100 10 12 6
8 90 10 8 3
9 80 9 7
10 70 8 6
11 60 7 5
12 50 6 3
13 40 5
14 30 4
15 20 3
16 15
17 10
18 8
19 5
20 3
Stage wins
1 20 16 8
2 14 11 5
3 8 6 2
4 7 5
5 6 4
6 5 2
7 4
8 2
Overall leader per day 10 8 4

 

If you’ve made it this far then note there are other rankings, such as Cycling Quotient and the IG Pro Cycling Index. Both offer alternative – and in my view – more convincing means to rank riders.

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.

daniel January 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

It’s more ridiculous that winning TDU or Beijing is worth the same as 3rd in the Giro.

Rick Chasey January 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Quick (albeit irritating) question:

Why is the Tour of Flanders given in both Dutch and French, but all the other Belgian one dayers given in either or?

The Inner Ring January 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Rick Chasey: good question. I copied it from the UCI calendar where the official languages of the sport are English and French, perhaps it got caught in between.

Patrick January 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I find it intriguing that winning a monument is the equivalent of coming fifth in the TdF, I am struggling to remember who came fifth at the Tour (I had to check on Wikipedia that it was Contador), whereas Matt Goss’ win at Milan-San Remo was one of the highlights of last year.

anotherCat4Racer January 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Am I reading this correctly that there are diminishing returns for winning multiple stages in a stage race? A rider’s first win at the Tour nets him 20 points, but he only gets 10, 6, etc as he keeps winning?

That doesn’t seem right.

Larry T. January 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I’ll concede that winning LeTour should be worth a few more points than the Giro or Vuelta as it reflects the fact that the best are (barring injury, etc.) all there to fight it out but but TdU or Beijing equaling any of the FIVE MONUMENTS OF CYCLING is insane, in my opinion. This is the kind of globalization that’s driving costs up and taking the sport away from the folks who have historically cared about it, not to mention making the season too long. December’s Bicisport had a few stories about this issue, two of my favorite quotes were “cycling has FANS, not clients” and “cycling is a SPORT not a business” but I guess the UCI and those folks see things differently.

Melted Tarmac January 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I guess we can argue forever about any pointsystem. I take comfort in the fact that I really don’t care about who wins the World Tour. Thinking about who will score the most point on an “arbitrary” scale won’t keep me awake in the night. Who wins in Roubaix is so much more interesting I think :-)

Ian January 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Thank you so much for providing this info. I’m simply someone who just rides a bike for fun but has always been fascinated by the pros, however I have never worked out how it all functions and have not been able to find a handy guide. For the first time I want to try and follow a season through so this is invaluable to me as a novice fan trying to understanding quite how pro cycling functions. Secondly I would like to thank you for this blog which I have been reading with a great interest for a while now and also to those that post comments which is also helping me to improve my knowledge. Still a massive amount I don’t quite get but I’m enjoying the learning journey. Cheers.

gfurry January 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

For anyone interested, I put all this into a shared Google Calendar. It should import into most calendar programs. You can find it here. (I also added the big 3 USA races) https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=2taofrkotsjp99l321u2avfcvc%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York

paul January 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

@anotherCat4Racer – no, that’s not it. It’s showing how many points you get by race and by placing. So in the TdF, the winner of a stage gets 20 points, 2nd place gets 10, 3rd place gets 6, etc. Other races have different scoring.

Ian January 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm

gfurry: nice one that, i’ve imported it so no excuses now for not following what is going on. Cheers.

The Inner Ring January 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

gfurry: thanks, I’m sure many will find it useful

Anyone have any tips on how to make an vcal or ical file?

gfurry January 3, 2012 at 7:29 pm
natalie January 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thank you gfurry for making that, very helpful!
Last year I tried to make one to including all the events I liked to pay attention to (Oman, Qatar, KBK, Omloop and so on) and it was a lot of work. I got to June and lost the will :) So your making that is much appreciated!

ave January 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

While I agree the TDU and the Tour of Beijing does not worth the same as a monument, the possibility to snatch so many points in fact does help these races, bringing a quality field.
When established, the UCI can decide to degrade them to 2.1

Actually thinking about if they worth the same as a monument. let’s see… Any win worths as much as it was hard to win. If the TDU is hotly contested, then why would it be easier to win it than L-B-L?

Tricky Dicky January 4, 2012 at 2:10 am

I live in Oz and love the fact that TDU gets lots of exposure. It’s a fun event and a great “curtain raiser” to the season but that is all it should be. Let’s not pretend it’s worth the points that have been allocated to it.

Ave – ask any former TDU winner whether they’d trade that for a Monument and you know you’d only ever get one answer.

Melted Tarmac – we might not care about World Tour points but the fact that this farce now contributes to how teams are and riders are “ranked” for the following year is what is concerning to me. It can potentially make or break teams. Look at some of the “suspect” signings in the off season.

One query Inner Ring – do you know why Paris-Tours is not ranked higher? I thought most riders felt that was one of the most prestigious one-day classics you could win. It seems to be the most glaring omission from the World Tour list.

Larry T. January 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

Ave – I guess it depends on if “hotly contested” means a close race or one where a lot of the big boys show up in fighting trim to try to win it. The 5 monuments are pretty much always in the latter category while the TDU is (to me) right up there with the race they have in CO in August or maybe the one they have in CA in June – mostly vacations for the pros with some cycling thrown in. In my mind there’s no way they should be worth the same points as the most famous one-day races.

Simon E January 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

@gfurry thanks for putting the dates into a google calendar :-)

Jerry Abel January 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Could someone please give a non techie a few clues for how to get the Google calendar that gfurry kindly supplied ointo my Outlook? Cheers.

The Inner Ring January 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Jerry Abel: save the .ics file on your computer. Then with Outlook it’s file > import and select the file.

gfurry January 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

@Jerry I don’t have Outlook to test but this should work according to other sources on the net.

Save the “basic.ics” file to your Desktop or Downloads folder.
Double-click the “basic.ics” file you just downloaded.
If the file does not open in Outlook:
Open Outlook.
Select File | Open | Calendar… from the menu.
Find, highlight and double-click the downloaded “basic.ics” file.
Delete the “basic.ics” file from your Desktop or Downloads folder.

hope this helps

Alan January 6, 2012 at 6:11 am

Thanks gfurry!

owenp January 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Hi Gfurry

Thanks for doing this calendar- a great resource for fans. I use google calendar, I had managed to ‘share’ it, but now don’t have permission to view anymore- if you would be willing to let me know your email address I’d really appreciate getting a view on the calendar again.

@owenp on twitter

Many thanks

caballista January 31, 2012 at 6:41 am

I can’t view it either :(

Buyruk April 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

As far as I am aware the races outside of the World Tour Calendar give points to the related rankings. For instance the Tour of Turkey (2.HC) gives points to the European Tour Ranking. But there is also the case where teams would like to hire Iranian riders just because the points they earned. So how would this come into affect in terms of World Tour Rankings? Or would it just help in terms of the “sporting value” element of the World Tour selection criteria?

Thanks a lot.

The Inner Ring May 1, 2012 at 12:08 am

Yes, it helps the team’s “sporting value” element. The precise calculations aren’t available but we see Ag2r and Lotto-Belisol hire the Iranian riders with points from the UCI Asia Tour to help secure their place on the World Tour.

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