The SAFI-Pasta Zara-Manhattan team will not be taking part in the upcoming Giro d'Italia Femminile from July 1-16, meaning that last year's winner Nicole Cooke will not be able to defend her maglia rosa, neither will in-form sprinter Rochelle Gilmore be able to go for stage wins.
The decision was made by the team's president Maurizio Fabretto, in agreement with the riders, staff, and administration. The race is considered the most prestigious stage race on the women's calendar, but Fabretto is protesting against a section of the Italian cycling federation, the Organo Ciclistico Nazionale, by withdrawing his team from all racing in Italy for the remainder or 2005. Fabretto disagrees with the way the Organo Ciclistico Nazionale is being run, some of the decisions they have made in the past, and they way they have treated him personally and also SAFI for the past 10 years.
The team's next race will be the Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen in Germany from July 19-24.