Maximum race distance of Women's WorldTour races now up to 160km

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The UCI has increased the maximum distances allowed for women’s races to reflect the improvement in the overall standard of the women’s peloton.

Previously events in the UCI Women’s WorldTour had been limited to a maximum distance per stage of 140km, and a maximum average daily distance of 120km. However both of these figures will be increased by 20km in 2017, meaning women’s races of up to 160km, and average daily distances of 140km.

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The UCI said that the rule change “reflects the increase in the competitiveness of the women’s peloton, while allowing organisers flexibility in relation to the location and the circuit type [of races].”

There have also been changes for lower level events, with the maximum distance per stage of non-WorldTour women’s elite events increased from 130km to 140km, and the maximum average daily distance increased from 100km to 120km. Regulations governing the length of men’s races and women junior races remain unchanged.

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The changes to the rules on women’s race distances are part of a wider shake up of UCI regulations, which will see 18 teams taking part in the men’s WorldTour (instead of a reduction to 17 teams as was initially planned), with no obligation for the teams to compete in every race on the WorldTour calendar.