Corsica Classica to take place at the end of March
Corsica is looking to capitalise on the success of last year's Tour de France Grand Départ with a new one-day race for 2015, according to local website Corse Net Info. Race organisers, the Corsican Regional Authority (CRA), along with five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault, met last week to present the UCI registered race.
The race will be known at the Corsica Classica and will take place on the 26 March. While the calendar for next year has not been confirmed by the UCI, the race is likely to be held during the same week as E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and the Volta a Catalunya. It's UCI ranking has not been announced, but 18 teams will be invited to take part.
It will be Corsica's second UCI race, after the Critérium International moved to the island in 2010. Despite it’s terrain, Corsica has had brief flirtations with professional races in the past. Between 1971 and 1987, the island ran a professional stage race known as the Tour de Corse. Previous winners include Hinault and Stephen Roche. It survives as an amateur race and is run by the CRA.
The 2015 Corsica Classica route is 203.8 kilometres long and will take the riders from Ajaccio – the island's capital – to the second largest city, Bastia. Corsica played host last year's Tour de France Grand Depart, and the race will take in many of the same climbs as the second stage - although it will be run in reverse.
Jan Bakelants won on that day after a late attack caught out the peloton, and he went on to wear the yellow jersey for a day. The ascents will include the Col de Vizzavona, which, at 1,163 metres, was given second category status at the Tour.
The race will be run with a budget of €200,000 to begin with. Organisers hope that they can grow it into another stage race and replace the defunct Tour de Corse.
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