August 31, 2011 (Aigle, Switzerland) – After examining all aspects of the candidacy file submitted by the organiser of the race E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke – with the support of the UCI Professional Cycling Council – the Licence Commission has awarded a UCI WorldTour licence to the Belgian event for a period of four years (2012 – 2015).
A traditional cycling event which has been organised for many years in the Flanders, the classic E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke (E3 Harelbeke) was until now part of the UCI Europe Tour calendar.
By integrating this race on the UCI WorldTour calendar, the UCI confirms its determination to ensure the durability of European cycling – in parallel with its commitment to the globalisation of cycling, which takes a step forward this season with the first edition of the Tour of Beijing – within the global development of the sport.
The UCI President Mr Pat McQuaid welcomed the Licence Commission’s decision, commenting, “The granting of this licence recognises the importance of this race in a region that has a strong cycling tradition. The Flanders area has a remarkable heritage and remains a landmark for cyclists around the world.”
In 2012, the E3 Harelbeke event will be moved to the Friday preceding the Gent-Wevelgem race and will open the season of Belgian Classics on the UCI WorldTour.