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Women's Tour of Britain given equal standing with men's event

ESPN staff
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Giving the women's Tour of Britain equal billing to the men's event should help attract top names © Getty Images
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The UCI has awarded the women's Tour of Britain the same 2.1 status as the men's race for its launch in 2014.

Cycling's governing body grades all men's and women's stage races, with the highest grading being WT - or World Tour - which includes the pinnacle Tour de France.

The second highest grade is 2.HC, followed by 2.1 and finally 2.2. The decision to give the women's Tour the same standing as the men's means it will rank as one of the highest rated women's races - and is therefore set to attract high profile riders.

"We are absolutely delighted that the UCI have awarded us 2.1 status for this exciting new event," director of Sweetspot, the event organisers, Guy Elliott said.

Plans to stage the event were confirmed in July, although it will take place between May 7-11 instead of alongside the men's race in September. Many aspects of the race, including the start and finish points, have yet to be confirmed, although the opening stage will be across Northamptonshire.

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