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La Primavera Rosa replacement brings new hope to women's cycling

Coppa dei Laghi set to become part of 2007 World Cup

By Anthony Tan in Maastricht, Netherlands

Despite the inconspicuous cancellation of the women's version of Milan-San Remo, La Primavera Rosa, in late January, the first edition of the Coppa dei Laghi classic scheduled for March 25 brings renewed hope to elite women's cycling, and according to race organisers Egidio Event s.r.l., it is set to become part of the women's World Cup in 2007.

"This is the only race of Italian women's cycling season that is classified 1.1 by UCI," proudly stated Carmine Castellano, ex-race director of the Giro d'Italia and now organising coordinator of the Coppa dei Laghi.

Continued Castellano: "Starting from next year this appointment will be an event of the World Cup. We are very happy because we managed to arrange this great event for women's cycling in Italy despite the short time at our disposal."

The inaugural Coppa dei Laghi will be 105 kilometres in length and start in the town of Salò, a lakeside town on the western side of Lake Garda. From there, the race will take a clockwise route through Brescia before finishing on the southern banks of Lake Idro, no more than 30 kilometres due north of the race's starting point. 600 metres is the difference in altitude between the two towns, with the most difficult and quite possibly decisive section of the race to occur 25 kilometres from the finish on the climb of Lodrino, measuring 6.5 kilometres long.

Numerous champion cyclists will take to the start on Saturday week, and the teams confirmed include Buitenpoort-Flexpoint, Univega, Bigla, Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas, Fenix-Colnago, As F.R.W. and Bianchi Aliverti Kookai, with five Italian elite category teams also participating.

The race will commence Saturday, March 25 at 9.30a.m. from Via Provinciale, Località Campoverde. An expected finish time is approximately 12 noon in Idro, on the road n.58.

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