News shorts: Tour Mediterranean at risk, Paris-Nice starts in Yvelines

Tour of the Mediterranean at risk for 2015

The Tour of the Mediterranean runs the risk of not taking place in 2015 due to ongoing financial problems. Organisers planned for the race to take place from February 12-15 although it was not included on the UCI Europe Tour calendar when it was published in September.

"As of now, the race isn't taking place," FDJ manager and president of the French Cycling League Marc Madiot told AFP.

According to AFP, the French Cycling League has advised against the race's inscription on the UCI calendar, citing unpaid prize money from this year’s event.

Speaking to Var Martin last month, race organiser André Martres insisted that he was hopeful of finding a resolution to the Tour of the Mediterranean’s predicament before the end of the year.

"I'm in talks with the UCI and I've proposed a procedure to pay the costs before December 31," Martres said. "I'm very confident."

The Tour of the Mediterranean has been held without interruption since 1974, although three years ago it was also excluded from the initial UCI calendar due to financial concerns before an appeal from the French Cycling Federation saw it re-introduced.

Paris-Nice to start in Yvelines

For the sixth year in a row, Paris-Nice will begin from the Yvelines department, with a 6.7km prologue around Maruepas kicking off the 2015 edition.

The 73rd edition of the 'Race to the Sun' will follow with stage 1 from Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse en route to the finale in Nice. The full route is due to be announced on Februrary 3 at the headquarters of the Yvelines General Council in Versailles.

The 2015 Paris-Nice will take place from March 8-15.

Vuelta Asturias returns

The Spanish calendar will see the return of the Vuelta Asturias in 2015. The race, formerly a UCI 2.1-ranked week-long event, shrunk in 2012 to a three-day, four-stage format and was cancelled this year just one week before the start due to lack of funds from sponsors.

The Club Ciclista Aramo confirmed to Biciciclismo that the 2015 race will be "a small two-day format" with stages likely in Pola de Lena and Oviedo.

The Vuelta Asturias Julio Alvarez Mendo is scheduled to take place May 2-3, the week before another two-day, UCI 2.1-ranked event, the Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid.

Doull eschews Europcar for track focus

Welshman Owain Doull, a track specialist and promising U23 road racer who won the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux this season, has reportedly turned down an offer to race with the Europcar squad in order to focus on his track ambitions for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Doull, who will join the national programme at the UCI Track World Cup in London this weekend, told The Guardian of his WorldTour offer.

"It was going to happen but I made a decision myself," Doull said. "I'm going somewhere else, and in terms of my future over the next few years it's probably a better decision. I'm not going to step up this year. I really want to turn pro, but maybe a team like that isn't the best place to go if you're not sure you are ready."

Doull is a likely candidate to join the new development team being built around Bradley Wiggins, together with fellow team pursuiters Andrew Tennant and Mark Christian, who aim to carry on Great Britain's winning legacy in the Olympic Games. With Wiggins adding his hat to the ring of potential team pursuit riders, even making the selection will be difficult.

"It's going to be a challenge but I'll commit fully," Doull said. "You have to take the positives from what I've done before. I was in some doubt about whether to continue on the track or focus on the road, but I had quite a good Commonwealth Games and that changed my mind."

Moolman Pasio wins Sports Woman of the year

South African road race and time trial champion Ashleigh Moolman Pasio was named South African Sports Woman of the year this past weekend at the annual South African Sports Awards.

It was the first SA Sports Award for the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. She will race for the Bigla women's team in 2015.

"It is a huge honour to win an award of this prestige, and it means so much to me as I feel it provides a great platform to promote women's cycling in South Africa and to share my message as a passionate female cyclist," Pasio said. "This year I haven't achieved all the goals I set out for myself, but the Commonwealth Games were a big focus, and I am incredibly touched to realise the impact my performance in Glasgow had on the country. I was an underdog on the day. I was outnumbered by the stronger cycling nations like Australia and England, but I kept fighting till the very end and my perseverance won me a bronze medal. I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith and I feel very honoured to have inspired a nation through my efforts."

2015 Giro Rosa to start in Slovenia

The 2015 Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile will start with two stages in Slovenia for the first time. The event will kick off with an evening prologue on July 3, followed by stage 1 on July 4, both held in the capital city of Ljubljana. The 10-day race will conclude on July 12.

Women's cycling in Slovenia has been building in recent years with the start of the BTC City Ljubljana women’s team, which was granted UCI status this year. After seeking invitations to the Giro Rosa in previous years, the team was invited to participate in the 2014 edition for the first time.

“The Slovenian professional cycling story has exceeded all expectations," said Jože Mermal, owner of the Slovenian women's cycling team BTC City Ljubljana. "At the start of this year's cycling season we only started paving the way for women's cycling in Slovenia, while now, only a year later, we have been trusted with the organisation of the premiere stage of the most prestigious race in women's cycling.”

The decision to start the race in Slovenia was finalized at a meeting with Ljubljana Major Mr. Zoran Jankovic, the BTC and Promoting Committee UWCT Final Lubiana 2014 Honorary President Mr. Joze Mermal, and the Race Director Mr. Giuseppe Rivolta.

The 2015 Giro Rosa route and stage details will be announced at a later date.

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