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Organisation fighting for future of event
With just days to go before its scheduled start, the organizers of the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige Internazionale Femminile announced that the race will be held, but the former stage race has been reduced to a one-day event due to economic difficulties.
Formerly an important stage races for women, the three day event served as a warm-up for the Giro Donne. It was won last year by American Evelyn Stevens. Past winners include Emma Pooley, Nicole Cooke, Judith Arndt and Linda Villumsen. The major teams are still expected to be at the start this Saturday.
The organisers fought hard to ensure the race for this year, and were supported by the town of Mezzolombardo, the Rotaliana Valley-Koeniigsberg community and a local business consortium, but they remain concerned about the future of the event.
"I just hope it's a temporary thing," Race committee chair Juri Tiengo said of the stop-gap measure, and appealed for more attention to women's sports in general. "I don't think the local authorities do not care about the event, even if that seems the case this year. Our race is one of top ten in the world, and if we want to talk about equal opportunities, it deserves the same respect as a men's race."
"Mezzolombardo has shown that by working in synergy you can do things," the technical race director Paolo Leonardi added. "The Province has ignored us this year. Perhaps it's because of the [economic] crisis, but that is hitting everyone. We want more clarity and we expect some answers."
The now UCI 1.1-ranked race will take place on June 21, and will be 108km long, and have a 5000m long climb 20km from the finish.
At the start there will be some of the highest international cycling female performers, including the multiple world champion Giorgia Bronzini, another former world Tatiana Guderzo, the Queen of the Giro del Trentino Fabiana Luperini (winner of 5 editions of the race), the winner of the 2012 Edition Linda Villumsen and emerging riders Saddar and Cauz.