Marianne Vos has called for the UCI and race organisers to create women's versions of the major cycling classics to help raise the profile of women's cycling.
Vos is the current world road race and cyclo-cross world champion and won the Olympic road race title in London. She is known as the 'cannibal' of women's cycling after also winning world titles on the track and back to back victories at the last two editions of the Giro d'Italia. She is still only 25 but has won more than 400 races.
"There are still a lot of races I'd like to win: San Remo, Flanders, Roubaix, Lombardy…" she told Gazzetta dello Sport while attending the Gran Gala Ciclistico Internazionale awards event in Conegliano on Sunday evening.
"I know they're not women's races. That's my point. Women's cycling has developed in many ways the last few years and there are a lot of well-organised teams. Those races (the Classics) are the real races, the historic races and we want them too. It'd be a act of recognition for women's cycling. I know what it means to wear the pink jersey, I won the Giro twice. That's why I really want the UCI and the men to add women's versions of the major classics to our calendar."
Currently the Tour of Flanders is the only major Classic that also holds a women's race.
Vos is not afraid of racing on the pave of Paris-Roubaix.
"I'd love to race in the Forest of Arenberg, just like I'd like to win Il Lombardia with the Ghisallo in it," she said.
"The Giro proved that we can also climb the major mountains like the Stelvio and the Mortirolo. I've heard that GiroDonne could disappear. Please don’t let it die. It'd be a disaster."