UCI WorldTour, Gran Fondo, and Cyclo Sportives. A Guide to the BIG Events!
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
From Spring Races to Autumn Classics, One Day Monuments, to Grand Tours, the 2020 cycling calendar is looking stacked! You can't beat the excitement of a bike race, either as a cyclist or as a spectator, so here's our useful guide to the big races, where to go ,who to watch, what to do and, how to watch the very best of the world on two wheels in 2020!
Cyclo-Sportives and Gran Fondo
The name Gran Fondo is often used in the US for cycling events. In Europe, the name Cyclo-Sportive tends to be used more in France, while Gran Fondo is used more often in Italy for the events there. In terms of what they are, there is no real difference between the two, apart from the name. These amateur cycling events tend to be of a competitive nature with usually closed roads to traffic, cut off times, timing, start pens based on performance plus the need to obtain a medical certificate from your doctor (only in France and Italy).
With the conception of the Haute Route series of events, a whole new trend started for tough, multi-day competitive cycling events where you will live like a Pro cyclist for a week. It all started with the Haute Route Alps, then the Haute Route Pyrenees. In 2020 there will be a whole host of events available, right across the globe. From the dramatic landscapes of Italy and Haute Route Dolomites and the punishing c;imbs of Haute Route Mont Ventoux, as well as new adventures in the mythical Chinese Mountains with Haute Route Qingcheng, and the tropical climes of Santa Catarina at Haute Route Brazil. Please feel free to browse our selection of Multi-day Cyclo-Sportive events.
The Biggest, and Most Prestigious, Events on the Racing Calendar are:
The Autumn Classics - Milano - Torino, Gran Piemonte
Many tour providers, including Sports Tours International, offer bespoke and exclusive VIP and Hospitality packages to events such as these which can really give the spectating experience a once in a lifetime edge, equally, by travelling with an experienced tour provider , you can be sure to be in the best spectating locations, at the right time, and never miss a beat of the high speed action! Other experiences you can have, by booking these events through a reputable sports travel company, such as Sports Tours International include;
amateur races, travel packages, and unique, guided tour experiences such as ride and watch.
Ride and Watch weekends (Cyclo-Touristique and UCI Pro race weekends)
Cycling events, with amateur events attached to them, taking place the day before or the day after in the same weekend, give you the opportunity to 'Ride and Watch'. You can ride the event first before watching the Pros, as they show you how it should really be done, the day after. Some examples of events like this are: the Strade Bianche, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
UCI WorldTour Men's and Women's
UCI WorldTour events are the highest level events for professional cyclists. The WorldTour comprises of a series of events, and riders compete in races to win the overall title, as well as for the title in individual events. The UCI Women’s WorldTour was launched in 2016 and replaces the World Cup, also adding stage races to the calendar. The men’s WorldTour is comprised of 37 events, spread over 18 countries. The Women’s WorldTour has 23 events, in 10 countries.
Sports Tours International offer an array of packages, including Ride and Watch and VIP/Hospitality options, at several blue-ribbon UCI events. For a full list of World Class UCI/WorldTour experiences SEE HERE.