Sparkassen Giro joins World Cup as women’s calendar shows signs of revival
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sparkassen Giro joins World Cup as women’s calendar shows signs of revival

by Ben Atkins at 4:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
German event returns; Tour of Britain confirmed; Gent-Wevelgem gets UCI status

marianne vosThe International Cycling Union (UCI) Elite Women’s road calendar begins to show some signs of revival in 2014, with several new races confirmed, as well as a ninth event for the World Cup. Confirmed with a 2.1 ranking in its first ever year, the Tour of Britain - entitled “The Women’s Tour” - will take place between the 7th and 11th of May, while Gent-Wevelgem - run as a Belgian national race since 2012 - gains a 1.2 ranking.

Unfortunately, the Belgian semi-Classic may still have to do without many of the sport’s big names, however, as its 30th March date clashes with the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, in Italy, the second round of the World Cup.

The Sparkassen Giro, which has been run as a 1.1-ranked event since 2001 - alongside the equivalent men’s race - steps up to become the ninth race in the World Cup. The race, in Bochum, Western Germany, will run on August 3rd, and bridges the gap between the Tour of Chongming Island and the Vårgårda Team Time Trial. It sees the return of a German round of the series for the first time since the demise of the Rund um die Nurnberger Altstadt in 2009.

“We’ve added a race in Germany, the Sparkassen Giro, so that will be on the calendar and we’re looking forward to that,” said UCI Road Coordinator Matthew Knight. “The course looks good. I think it’ll provide an interesting challenge in the middle of the World Cup season.

“The other events are returning,” Knight explained, referring to the races that made up this year’s World Cup. “[They’re on] similar dates as 2013, but with that extra race, I think it’ll add a bit more challenge to maintain the World Cup leader’s jersey.

“They’re all road races, except the team time trial in Sweden, [which is] coming back,” he added. “We’ve seen that it’s a good preparation event for the World Championships.”

The major events of the year return as usual, with the Giro d’Italia Femminile between the 4th and 13th of July, the Thüringen-Rundfahrt between the 21st and 27th of July, and the Route de France between the 9th and 17th of August.

The major omission from the 2014 calendar is the Giro della Toscana, whose final stage saw more than half the peloton refuse to start due to concerns over the safety of the event, after traffic was able to get into the race on the preceding days. Race owner Brunello Fanini - who organises the race in memory of his champion cyclist daughter Michela who was killed in a car accident - has threatened to take the striking riders to court. The race - which has run since 1995 - was the only event to be awarded the 2.HC ranking in 2013, but its future now looks in doubt.

Also missing is the Tour de Languedoc-Rousillon, which was beset with similar issues during its first edition this year.

UCI Women’s Road World Cup 2014
15th March - Ronde van Drenthe, Netherlands
30th March - Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Cittiglio, Italy
6th April - Ronde van Vlaanderen, Belgium
23rd April - La Flèche Wallonne Femmes, Belgium
18th May - Tour of Chongming Island World Cup, China
3rd August - Spakassen Giro, Germany
22nd August - Open de Suède Vårgårda Team Time Trial, Sweden
24th August - Open de Suède Vårgårda Road Race, Sweden
30th August - Grand Prix Plouay-Bretagne, France


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