Trofeo Binda organiser confirms March 30th date despite Gent-Wevelgem clash
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Trofeo Binda organiser confirms March 30th date despite Gent-Wevelgem clash

by Ben Atkins at 5:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian World Cup race to be held as planned, but calls for more thought in calendar preparation

elisa longo bourghiniCycling Sport Promotion, the organiser of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup race has confirmed that it will stick to its allotted date of March 30th next year, despite bing “very disappointed” with its calendar clash with Gent-Wevelgem. The Italian race will be the second round of the Women’s Road World Cup once again, but fears that the prestige of the Belgian Semi-Classic could draw some top riders away.

Such was the strength of feeling when the calendar was announced in late September, that Cycling Sport Promotions was considering not organising the 2014 edition of the Trofeo Binda at all.

Thankfully, having considered its options, the Italian organisation has reconsidered.

"We are very disappointed,” Cycling Sport Promotion President Mario Minervino - who was also a key figure in the organisation of this year’s World Championships in Florence, Italy - said, “because the International Cycling Union [UCI] is not protecting World Cup races as in the past. We are not afraid of competition, we just want to protect the event."

Gent-Wevelgem first ran its women’s version in 2012, but 2014 will be the first time that the race will be part of the UCI calendar. Its 1.2 status will net the winner just 40 UCI points - compared to 120 for the World Cup race - but the race’s caché in the men’s calendar could make it a more attractive victory for a rider’s palmares. The two races to date have been won by Lizzie Armitstead and Kirsten Wild, neither of whom are well suited to the Trofeo Binda course, but other riders that are may be tempted by the Belgian race.

While Minervino welcomes the pledges to develop women’s cycling made by new UCI president Brian Cookson, and new vice-president Tracey Gaudrey, he feels that not enough care was taken when drawing up the 2014 race calendar.

"The relaunch of women's cycling was much talked about, as well as the new rules relating to the [World Cup] points system and the three new categories: Leader, Sprint and GPM [and young rider - ed]. This was a good opportunity to propose solutions to the calendar issues. We are not against concurrent events but we need new rules that protect the organisers.

“Among other things, the UCI has complimented our organisation and the excellent work undertaken in our side events,” he added.

"We will hold the 2014 World Cup on Sunday, 30 March as planned," Minervino confirmed. “We have spoken to all our collaborators, we cannot change the date just because there is a concurrent event.

“The Trofeo Binda is very important and fundamental in the women's calendar and is also a major event for the area,” he continued. “With the mayor of Cittiglio, Fabrizio Anzani, we have made plans for next year. Following requests from the mayor of Laveno, Maria Graziella Giacon, and the Councillor for Sport, Roberto Bianchi, the race will again start from Laveno Mombello. We plan to follow the same program as in 2013, including the junior race in the morning and the Cycle! Mass participation event."

The 2013 edition of the Trofeo Binda was won in a solo break by Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products), who became the first Italian winner of the race since it became part of the World Cup in 2008.

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