Explainers Features Races

Race classifications: an explainer

Want to know a 1.UWT race from a 2.NCup or National A road race? Read our explainer on UCI and British Cycling race classifications

Understanding race classifications can be a complicated business. This explainer attempts to decode things.

The teams we focus on here at The British Continental – UCI Continental and elite racing teams – will typically race a mixture of UCI and British Cycling certified races. UCI races trump British Cycling in the race pecking order, so let’s start with UCI race classifications. 

Feature photo: David Hares / www.davidhares.co.uk

UCI race classifications

Classifications overview

UCI races are rated with numbered codes (e.g. 1.Pro, 2.1, etc). The first part of the code denotes whether the race is a one-day race or a multi-day (stage) race.

  • 1 = One day race
  • 2 = Stage race

Then, the second part of the code indicates the race ranking. From highest to lowest these are:

  • .UWT / .WWT (World Tour)
  • .Pro
  • .1
  • .2

The Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic, for example, is classified as a 1.2 race, meaning it is a one day race, category 2 race (the lowest UCI race ranking). The Tour de Yorkshire, meanwhile, is denoted as 2.Pro, a stage race ranked just below World Tour level.

Other race classifications to watch out for are:

  • ‘U’ – races ending with the code U (e.g. 2.2U) are U23 races, like the U23 Giro d’Italia
  • NCup‘ – races with the code NCup are Nations Cup races involving national teams or ‘mixed teams’.

Key points

The tables below list the main race types and set out which teams can participate in them. In summary, the key things you need to know are:

  • Men’s World Tour teams can participate in World Tour, Pro Series and category 1 races but not category 2 races
  • Men’s Continental teams can participate in Pro Series races (with caveats), category 1 and category 2 races, but not World Tour races
  • Men’s national teams can participate in any class of UCI race (but only if they are from the organising country for World Tour and Pro Series races)
  • Men’s elite/club teams can only participate in category 2 races
  • Women’s World Tour teams can participate in all of the main UCI races classes (Women’s World Tour through to category 2)
  • Women’s Continental teams can also participate in all of the main UCI races classes (Women’s World Tour through to category 2)
  • Women’s national teams can participate in any class of UCI race but only if they are from the organising country for World Tour races)
  • Women’s elite/club teams can participate in category 1 and category 2 races

Men’s race classifications

CodeExamplesParticipation
1.UWT

2.UWT
Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Tour de France
UCI WorldTeams
Invited UCI ProTeams
National team of the organising country
1.Pro

2.Pro
Scheldeprijs

Tour de Yorkshire
UCI WorldTeams (max 70%)
UCI ProTeams
UCI continental teams of the country (1)
Foreign UCI continental teams (max. 2) (1)
National teams of the country of the organiser
1.1

2.1
Le Samyn

Tour of Antalya
UCI WorldTeams (max 50%)
UCI ProTeams
UCI continental teams
National teams
1.2 (U)

2.2 (U)
16th Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic
Volta ao Alentejo
UCI ProTeams of the country
UCI foreign UCI ProTeams (max. 2)
UCI continental teams
National teams
Regional and club teams
1.NCup

2.NCup
Ronde van Vlaanderen Beloften
Tour de l’Avenir
National teams
Regional and club teams (max 15%) (2)
Mixed teams (3)

(1) In order to compete in a UCI ProSeries event, UCI Continental Teams must contribute to the programme for the fight against doping related to UCI ProSeries events; the teams concerned will be included in a list published on the UCI website.

(2) Only regional and club teams from the country of the organiser or border country and only if the national team of the country of the regional or club team is also taking part in the event.

(3) Mixed teams are defined as teams composed of riders from teams eligible for the race but whose team is not racing. This allows teams like the UCI’s World Cycling Centre team and regional teams to compete alongside national teams.

Women’s race classifications

CodeExamplesParticipation
1.WWT

2.WWT
Strade Bianche

OVO Energy Women’s Tour
UCI Women’s WorldTeams (min 8)
UCI women’s continental teams
National team from the country of the organiser
1.Pro

2.Pro
Prudential RideLondon Classique
Healthy Ageing Tour
UCI Women’s WorldTeams (min 4, max 10)
UCI women’s continental teams
National teams
Regional and club teams from the
country of the organiser (max 2)
1.1

2.1
Brabantse Pijl

Women’s Tour of Scotland
UCI Women’s WorldTeams (min 1, max 5)
UCI women’s continental teams
National teams
Regional and club teams
1.2

2.2
Gravel and Tar la Femme

Dubai Women’s Tour
UCI Women’s WorldTeams (4)
UCI women’s continental teams
National teams
Regional and club teams
Mixed teams

(4) Only national or class 2 events from the country of the paying agent of the team or from the country of one of the main sponsors of the team and with a maximum of two national or class 2 events per year. Teams must seek for the agreement of the UCI at least three months before the race.

British Cycling race classifications

British Cycling races sit underneath UCI-level races in the race hierarchy.

The key race classifications at this level – for men and for women – are:

  • National A
  • National B
  • Regional A
  • Regional B
  • Regional C and Regional C+

The main focus for British Continental teams is National A races, although many also ride some National B and other levels of race too.

Links

UCI Road Race Regulations (Part II – Road Races)

British Cycling road racing licence categories 

Acknowledgements

Feature photo: David Hares / www.davidhares.co.uk

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