The UCI Gran Fondo World Series is a 'cycling for all' series where cyclists from all over the world can participate in events where they can obtain their ticket for the official UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in different age groups. There are qualifier events for both road-races and time-trial. The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will crown the new UCI Worldchampions in Road racing and Time-trial
UCI Gran Fondo World Series Events
A UCI Gran Fondo World Series event is a competitive mass participation event with a mass start (or in waves with intervals between the start groups) which is fully timed for all participants and split results are made per age group and gender.
A UCI Gran Fondo World Series Event has three different categories:
- Full closed roads: Competitive mass participation event with a mass start in which riders can use the whole road during a certain time frame (time to be set by the organisers). Roads are closed for the full length and duration of the event for all participants. No traffic on the course (except event vehicles).
- Rolling road closure: Competitive mass participation event with a mass start in which riders can use the whole road during a certain time frame (time to be set by the organisers). Roads are closed from the moment the first riders approach until a dedicated time after the first riders have passed (time to be set by the organisers). Road traffic regulations must be respected for all riders being outside of the defined time set by the organiser.
- Open roads: Competitive mass participation event with a mass-start in which riders must respect road traffic regulations during the whole course.
The UCI Gran Fondo World Championships is the last event of the series, open to riders qualified through the series.
Riders can take part in the Gran Fondo World Series if they hold any of the following licenses:
- No license. Some national federations require a day license which can be bought on-site. Certain countries also require a medical certificate.
- Amateur license
- Master license
- Cycling for All license
- Elite license with exception of:
- Any rider who has during the current year been a member of a team registered with the UCI.
- Any rider who has taken part in a World Championships, the Olympic Games, Continental Games, Regional Games, the Commonwealth Games, or a World Cup during the current year.
- Any rider who has scored UCI points in the year of the World Championships.
Riders taking part in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships must hold a valid licence issued by their respective national federation (day licences being excluded), must hold a UCI ID (from 2020 onwards) and must be adequately insured against accidents and civil responsibility in the country in which the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are held
How to quality?
- Through the UCI Gran Fondo World Series events
Each UCI Gran Fondo World Series event grants qualification rights for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. Based on the results of each race, the first 20% of athletes in each age group will be qualified for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. The 20% is calculated based on the number of starters in each age group, and not on the number of riders having finished the race.
In addition, the first three riders of each official age category will qualify directly for the World Championships, independently of the number of starters in that age group. Riders must finish the race to gain qualification.
The age categories of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships are:
As qualification for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships starts as of September in the preceding calendar year, any riders who qualify before January 1st and who change age groups during the year of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will qualify as per their age group during the year of the qualifier event, but will be registered in their new age category for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
At the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, medals and titles will be awarded for men and/or women as soon as 1 rider is registered in the respective 5-year age category.
Qualification for the individual time trial and road race is determined as follows:
- Qualifier events of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series hosting only a road race will grant qualification for both the road race and time trial at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
- Qualifier events of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series hosting a time trial and a road race will grant qualification for each respective event at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships - i.e. time trial or road race.
- Qualifier events of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series only hosting a time trial will grant qualification for the time trial only at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
Outgoing UCI Gran Fondo World Champions
The outgoing UCI World Champions in the time trial and road race may take part in the first UCI Gran Fondo World Championships following their title, in both the time trial and road race.
- Masters National Champions
All Masters national champions from the current year (in road race and individual time trial only) may enter the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships without qualification via the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. The Masters national champions in road race and time trial are confirmed to the UCI by the respective National Federation.
- National Federation of the country of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships
The National Federation of the country of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships may award an additional 20 wildcards (to 10 women and 10 men), which allow athletes to participate in both the time trial and road race. These wildcards are confirmed to the UCI by the respective National Federation.
- Wild cards
The following wildcards allow riders to participate directly in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships:
- Each UCI Gran Fondo World Series qualifier events may grant 5 wildcards to riders who participated in their respective qualification event. These wildcards are confirmed to the UCI by each UCI Gran Fondo World Series organiser.
- All countries not hosting a UCI Gran Fondo World Series qualifier event may grant 10 wildcards (5 men / 5 women) to riders of their choice. These wildcards are confirmed to the UCI by the respective National Federation.
For road races: the organizer has the option to choose between the following starting procedures.
- For events up to 500 participants: no special setup, riders are positioned on a first come, first serve base at the start.
- For events from 500 - 2000 participants: start per (combined) age group with separated start boxes guaranteed for at least the 19-34, 35-39 and 40-44 age groups. The 45-49, 50-54 and subsequent age groups may be combined or have a dedicated start box, depending on the number of starters. Women can start together with the men in the same age group or have a dedicated start box for all women's age categories combined, either in front or at the back. Start boxes can be combined to form one start group a few minutes before the start so that riders from the same age remain next to each other at the start or have different starts with a few minutes' interval.
- For events with over 2000 participants: a first start wave with only licensed riders, set up for those riders as in option (2) above, followed by a second wave with non-licensed riders, with several minutes between the two starts. This second wave can be comprised of several different waves, depending on the total number of non-licensed riders, who will be positioned on a first come, first served basis.
The first two options must apply gun time for all participants. In the third option, the licensed riders' group must be timed using the gun time principle, while all subsequent waves would be timed with according to the net time principle.
- Gun time: the time of all riders in the same start box must start with the gun so that the first rider crossing the finish line is also the winner of his/her age group.
- Net time: the time of each rider must be started when he or she first crosses the start carpet.
A priority box for riders with good results is forbidden in a UCI Gran Fondo World Series qualifier.
Organizers may ask for a different starting procedure if the given event has been run in a different way in previous editions. The technical delegate of the UCI will study the request and confirm the procedure which will be applied. A start in boxes based on expected speeds (as indicated by riders during registration) is a possibility but only if all riders are treated equally in this process, with the possibility to request a start in the first box.
For the time trial: the start is given one athlete at a time, with a standard interval of 1 minute between each rider. This interval may be reduced to 30 seconds if the number of participants exceeds 300 or if required by local authorities
To standardize all the events in the UCI Gran Fondo World Series and render them accessible to all levels of cyclists, the UGFWS has standard course formats for all qualifier events. In addition to providing maximum safety guarantees, each UGFWS course must have the following features:
An organizer has the possibility to have the following formats of his event
- A Time Trial and a Road Race organized within the same week
- A single Road Race
- A single Time Trial
- A Time Trial and two road races on three executive days
The objective of the series being to allow both competitive and recreational riders (and riders with or without a license) to compete in a single mass participation event.
For the road race :
The length of the course must be between 80 and 225 km. For older age groups, the length of the course may be shorter. There shall only be one official qualifying distance per age group. If two different courses are proposed, the organizer must confirm the qualifying distance applicable to each age group and publish such information before, both online and in briefings and communication materials shared with the riders.
For the time trial :
The length of the course must be between 15 and 40 km. If the time trial is a mountain time trial, the distance may be shorter.
Two different types of courses may be applied
- A course consisting of multiple laps on a circuit (min. 10km circuit for the road race, min. 5km circuit for the time trial)
- A city-to-city race either with a point-to-point course with the same start and finish venue, or with different start and finish venues. This option is preferred and more widely applied across all UGFWS events.
The local organizer must provide a feed zone where participants have access to drinks and food.
All feed zones must have:
- Beverages: water, isotonic drinks and, if the temperature is low, a hot drink
- Food: fruits, cereal bars, a food item with high nutritional content
- A sufficient number of mobile toilets must be provided.
For races with on a circuit:
- There must be a feed zone delimited by signs at the start and end of the zone.
For city-to-city races:
- Less than 150 km: minimum 2 feed zones are required.
- More than 150 km: minimum 3 feed zones are required.
- An additional beverage per rider at the finish line is required.
- Signs must be placed to indicate the presence of each feed zone at least 5 km ahead of each zone
For time trial:
- A beverage per rider is given at the finish.
Riders may use any type of bike (road bike, mountain bike, city bike, hybrid bike, cross bike, etc.) with the exception of tandem or recumbent bikes. In the road race event, time trial bikes are forbidden.
In the World Championships, all bikes will be checked for compliance with the UCI's regulations. For more information see: http://www.uci.ch (see pages 60 to 71 for bike specifications)
Riders are free to wear any type of jersey in the qualifier events, with the following exceptions
- Reigning World Champions are obliged to wear their official jersey in UGFWS qualifier events in the discipline (road race or time trial) in which they won the World Title
- It is forbidden to wear the rainbow stripes (or any variation of their design) on the national team jersey, bike, helmet, shoes or overshoes during the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
It is mandatory for a rider to wear their national kit at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships Time Trial, Team Relay and Road Race. Although the official national jersey is not required, a jersey representing their country with a similar design and colors as the original national team jersey is required. Private or club sponsors are allowed to be featured on the national jersey.
Mechanical assistance is provided on all the routes. At least 2 vehicles and/or motorcycles for service purposes are available to the cyclists. 1 vehicle will follow the head of the race, another 1 the tail of the race. For the time trial, the riders cannot be followed by a car with a mechanic. Private cars with spare parts/bikes/wheels are forbidden in a UGFWS qualifier event.
Riders are advised to bring their own spare tire or tubular to the race due to the difficulty of serving all concerned riders in UCI Gran Fondo World Series events with neutral support.
Timekeeping and ranking
The event must be timed for all the participants, for the entire length of the course. The timing of the event must start with the gun, and not when each individual rider crosses the starting carpet (GUN time principle). For events with very high numbers of participants, an exception to this rule may be requested to the UCI Gran Fondo World Series to ensure that riders in later waves are timed by applying the NET time principle (from the moment they cross the start carpet to the moment they cross the finish line).
Published results of qualified riders
The organizer must provide a list of qualified riders to Golazo Sports within 5 days after the completion of the event. This list must be created in Microsoft Excel (or another spreadsheet program) and must contain the following details: age group, full name, email and nationality of the rider (or country of residence if the nationality is not available).
The timing company must use the following regulations to define the number of qualified riders per age group:
- ALL riders completing the qualifying distance, independent in which start wave they are starting, are eligible for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships and must be taken into account to calculate the top 20% list of qualified riders.
- For all age categories, the first three finishers per age group are always qualified, independently of the number of starters in that specific age group. A five year age group should be created from the moment that at least 1 rider from that age group participates.
- The top 25% is based on the number of riders effectively taking the start (not the number of pre-registered riders or riders finishing the race). The 25% is rounded to the highest number to determine the exact number of qualified riders per age group (for instance: with 26 starters, 6.25 are eligible for qualification, meaning that the first 7 will be invited for the World Championships)
- Only riders born before 31 December 2002 can qualify for the 2021 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. For events organized in the same year and immediately following the 2019 World Championships (September-December 2019), riders aged 18 in 2019 may already qualify as they will turn 20 in the year of the 2021 World Championships.
- Lists of qualified riders may be published online or on-site at the qualifying event as long as it is clearly specified that the results are pending approval from the UCI. Only the list which is published on the www.ucigranfondoworldseries.com website can be considered as the official list of qualified riders.
The Start and Finish Area - The Village
See 4. Entries
Start boxes and start grid
- All riders should be placed in boxes per age category with the younger riders in front and the older riders in the back. The organizer has the option to have separated starts per box (age category) or one mass start at the same time. All boxes should be separated with barriers, ribbon or cords till 5 minutes before the start. Then all separations should be removed so the peloton will form one group.
- Women are placed in a first box (all age groups combined) before the men's age groups.
Every event has an information center in the village where anyone can come at any time to obtain all kinds of information about the event. This center will be clearly indicated by "Information" signs provided for this purpose. These signs will also be posted in English and at least one person with a good knowledge of English will be present at all times at this information point.
Entries, Race Number and Frame Number
Maximum number of participants
In case the maximum number of participants for the capacity of the event has not been reached, registration is possible at least until the morning of the race. It is up to the organizer to decide the maximum number of participants. Riders can avoid this by pre-registering online.
Encouragement to register online
UGFWS encourages online registration. All participants have to fill in a form provided by the UCI in which they will be asked if they agree to be contacted by UCI partners/be informed on sportive issues by the UCI.
Cyclists often feel rather disoriented when they come to the registration area. UGFWS events will therefore do everything possible to clearly indicate the different sectors (always in the local language and in English). In addition, UGFWS will take care to set up a small information center (where English must also be spoken) close to the registration area.
Participation of foreign cyclists
Foreign participants will be increasingly numerous at each UGFWS qualifier event. The organizer therefore provides a registration office where, in addition to the local language, some volunteers also speak at least English. An efficient registration system which is effective, easy for the participants to understand and that involves a minimum waiting time is implemented.
The race numbers must be positioned as follows:
The organizer can choose between:
- On the back of the jersey (on the lower part of the back for better visibility)
- At the front, the race number must be visible by means of a small plate fixed to the handle bars or a sticker placed on the front of the helmet.
The organizer indicates at the registration area where the race number must be placed. Information on the reverse side of the race number: The organizer makes sure that all the details which are marked as compulsory are included on the reverse of every race number.
Ceremony for women and men
The three first riders of every age category (women and men) will be called to the podium to be awarded prizes.
UGFWS Finisher Medal
Every rider to finish in the first 25% of his age group in the UGFWS qualifier events shall be given a medal. The organizer should set up a desk/tent where riders can collect their medal. This should also be announced in the technical guide.
UGFWS Age Group winners' jersey
All winners of their age group get an official UGFWS jersey on the podium during the award ceremony.
A rigorous schedule and presentation will be arranged to inform riders
- Mandatory helmet: The UCI takes a very hard line on the wearing of a helmet. Wearing a helmet will be compulsory for all UGFWS events, throughout the whole race. Participants are barred from the start or their race number will be immediately withdrawn if they are caught by a member of the organization without their helmet.
- Medical certificate: To confirm the physical capability of a cyclist to take part in a UGFWS bike race, the organizer requires one of the following guarantees:
- Either that the participant holds a license (which is issued on presentation of a medical certificate to the effect that there is no medical reason why the participant should be unable to practice cycling) issued by a national cycling federation affiliated to the UCI. If the rider has a license issued without medical exam, some countries might require to present a separate medical certificate.
- Or that the participant holds a medical certificate to the effect that there is no medical reason why the participant should be unable to practice cycling, which has been issued by a doctor
- Or that the participant attests to (and signs) the fact that he is in perfect health and fit for the physical effort required for such a cycling race, UGFWS declines all liability if health problems are experienced during the event. As the good health of cyclists is one of the overriding concerns of the UCI, we prefer options a) and b) above.
- During the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, only riders with a national year license are allowed. A medical certificate might be additionally required in some countries for those riders who have obtained their license without preliminary medical exam.
- Accident and third party liability insurance: UGFWS organizing events assure that all cyclists who wish to take part in an event forming part of the UGFWS hold accident insurance and third party liability insurance. To facilitate access to its event, in particular for cyclists travelling from foreign countries, the organizer provides the possibility for all participants to take out one-day insurance.
- Each rider is responsible for ensuring that sufficient insurance has been taken out for eventual accidents which may occur during the qualifier race. This can be ensured either through an individual race license covering races abroad or through a private insurance policy. Neither the UCI nor the local organizer of the qualifier event must take out insurance for in-race accidents and crashes.
Safety on the course
- Safety plan: The organizer prepares a full safety plan
- Identification of danger points: The organizer takes care to indicate all the danger points
- Following vehicles: For sporting fairness and to avoid possible problems, riders will be eliminated immediately if they are caught benefiting from vehicular assistance from a third party not belonging to the organization.
- For road race events, full road closures are advised but not mandatory. For a Time Trial event, full road closures are mandatory.
- Emergency system:
For city-to-city races: at least 2 ambulances are available for an event of up to 4'000 participants with 1 further ambulance for each 4'000 additional participants. To facilitate the arrival of assistance in an accident, 2 ambulances will be positioned as follows: 1 ambulance follows the big pack or peloton and 1 ambulance follows the last participant as the broom wagon. Additional ambulances will be positioned by the organizer depending on requirements.
For races with local loops: 2 ambulances will stay stand-by at two different entry/exit areas where they can enter the circuit in case of an emergency.
- The organizer provides a first aid kit to provide minor assistance to cyclists at the start, finish and at all feed zones.
- Information on the reverse side of the race numbers: Cycling is unfortunately not a risk-free sport. To deal as effectively as possible with accidents which may affect a participant during the event, and to facilitate the work of the doctors as far as possible, the organizer produces race numbers which will include on the reverse side a form to be completed. The minimum information required by the UCI, which shall be written on the reverse side of the race numbers, is as follows:
- Last name and first name - Blood group - Present physical condition (asthma, diabetes, allergy(ies), epilepsy, etc.) - Any current medication - Last name, first name and telephone number (with national dialing code) of the emergency contact.